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Rumours & reports about Warburg Institute troubles (Read 64675 times)
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Rumours & reports about Warburg Institute troubles
05.05.2010 at 09:10:25
 
There are rumours and reports about the Warburg Institute's these days not completely unproblematic relations to the University of London.
 
See http://archiv.twoday.net/stories/6322564/ and http://artforum.com/news/week=201017#news25412 .
 
At both links there is no discussion of the fact that there seems to be a 5 years probationary period for the new director of the Warburg Institute (the successor to Hope: see extracts from the job add here). (I myself was rather puzzled about this: why make applications by scholars aged 59 or younger who have tenure at their present institution extremely improbable?)
That job add (full text here) IMO was remarkable for other reasons too: just search it for the places where the term "renaissance" does occur ... .)
 
I don't know whether the University of London is aware that there might be very well a number of other universities willing to host the Warburg Institute in case there should be the option for them to do so ... .
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Re: Rumours & reports about Warburg Inst. troubles
Reply #1 - 25.06.2010 at 10:31:09
 
Now see also: Marion Löhndorf: Das Gesetz der guten Nachbarschaft : Eine Rationalisierungsmassnahme der Universität London bedroht das Warburg Institute (NZZ, 2010-06-23) (found thanks to http://archiv.twoday.net/stories/6394038/ ).
 


 
On a happier note: If the information which I have received is correct: IMO The Warburg Institute made a really excellent choice when selecting it's new director!
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Re: Rumours & reports about Warburg Institute trou
Reply #2 - 21.07.2010 at 10:26:56
 
Via the FICINO email distribution list I received pointers to:
 
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Warburg Institute: New director
Reply #3 - 21.07.2010 at 13:02:52
 
Quote from hck on 25.06.2010 at 10:31:09:


On a happier note: If the information which I have received is correct: IMO The Warburg Institute made a really excellent choice when selecting it's new director!

 
That information was/is correct.  Smiley Cheesy Smiley
See here.
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Re: Rumours & reports about Warburg Institute trou
Reply #4 - 22.07.2010 at 17:28:47
 
Now see also http://earlymodernhistory1.blogspot.com/2010/07/future-of-warburg-institute.html , and via this: http://artintheblood.typepad.com/art_history_today/2010/07/warburg-goes-to-war.h tml .
 
There are also various discussions concerning the future of thne Warburg Institute on facebook these days.
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Re: Rumours & reports abt Warburg Institute troubl
Reply #5 - 26.07.2010 at 10:36:55
 
You might also be interested to read Anna Somers Cocks: The Warburg Institute is fighting for its life : The famous library founded by Aby Warburg for a special kind of research may lose its essential nature (2010-07-20).
 
She writes i.a.:  
Quote:
There are now fears that the University plans to move the Warburg’s library from its building in Woburn Square and put it with its own library in its headquarters. In 2007 it squeezed the Warburg by raising its space charge by £500,000, which eats up half the Institute’s £1.3m annual grant so that it now has an annual deficit of half a million. Jill Kraye, the Institute’s librarian and a historian of philosophy, says, “They charge us eight times more for being an open access library”, and yet the whole point of Aby Warburg’s original conception was to be able to browse among the books.

The University is also trying to curtail the Warburg’s independence after “converging” the administration of the Warburg library into London Research Library Services, which will be appointing the Warburg’s next librarian, who will no longer be a scholar-librarian, as has been the case from Fritz Saxl onwards. There is no money to appoint a successor to the head of the Warburg’s photographic archive, the essential complement to the books in the integrated Warburgian approach to ideas. Currently, its head is Liz McGrath, the award-winning author of Rubens, Subjects from History.

Another sign of the Warburg’s diminished independence is that the Institute itself was not represented on the board to appoint the successor to the current director, Charles Hope, although a descendant of the Warburg family was included. At this rate, there could soon be nothing left of the Warburg except a few Fellows detached from the library that not only gave birth to the Institute but is at the heart of what makes it such an influential and civilising place.

All this suggests that the University does not acknowledge its obligations under the 1944 trust deed, but what is almost more serious is that in its bureaucratic way the University seems to have lost sight of the human reality of what makes a place of learning and intellectual creativity. Administrative synergies will not do it; money and a fine building do not necessarily do it, as the Getty Research Institute has shown. Despite all its facilities, that has never stirred people’s minds much or aroused affection.

...
Quote:
Instead of this sad and unedifying state of conflict, the University could cut the charge to the Warburg, recognise its own obligations and the Warburg’s unique characteristics, and collaborate with the Institute on a long-term plan for its future in its own building. This certainty would make it possible for the Warburg to launch an international search for the endowment funding that would enable it to carry on its extraordinary work.

The alternative looks increasingly unattractive. The Warburg, supported by its Advisory Council, has taken legal advice and has been told that the University is in breach of the 1944 trust deed, but the University wants to apply to the Charity Commissioners to amend the terms of the deed. Director Charles Hope points out that if they succeed in this, it would not only be the death of the Institute, but also of the library, half of whose acquisitions currently come through the Warburg’s endowment income, gifts and exchanges (for example, the De Menil family gave it 30 years worth of material about the “image of the black” in art).

The Warburg family is getting angry. Max Warburg, the banker son of Eric Warburg, who signed the 1944 trust deed making the donation, told the Neue Zürcher Zeitung last month that the family would do everything possible in law to compel the University to honour the trust deed, which guarantees the Warburg’s independence and independent financing. “The whole thing is a scandal,” he said.

 
 
 
 
 
 
In one of the comments (22 Jul 10 22:36 CET / Eileen, California) there is this:
Quote:
If the Univ. of London has compromised its stewardship of the library, can the trust deed be revoked and the library be returned to the Warburg family in Hamburg. could a benefactor be found in a German university?
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Re: Rumours & reports abt Warburg Institute troubl
Reply #6 - 26.07.2010 at 15:08:27
 
See also Jessica Elgot: Jewish scholar's library under threat (2010-07-22). Ms Elgot writes i.a.:
Quote:
Staff believe that the university wishes to absorb the collection into its own main library.

Librarian Professor Jill Kraye said: "This trust deed is a legal document. It is not outdated - Magna Carta was signed in 1215. We want to preserve the unique character and traditions of our library but the punitive costs mean we cannot afford to do so."

The university's Andy Williamson, said: "The University has evolved with the times and is giving consideration to seeking an alteration to the terms of the Trust Deed."
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Re: Rumours & reports abt Warburg Institute troubl
Reply #7 - 28.07.2010 at 10:54:49
 
Now see also Veszélyben a Warburg-könyvtár (2010-07-27): A text in Hungarian (google's translation into English here) with links to material and reports in several languages.
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Warburg Institute: troubling situation (D. King)
Reply #8 - 29.07.2010 at 09:20:59
 
See also Dorothy King: The Warburg Institute In Trouble - Again (2010-07-28).
i.a.:
Quote:
London University tried to in effect close down the Institute of Classical Studies by removing its library a few years ago. It's been tinkering with the Warburg, which is dying a death of a thousand budget cuts. And let's not forget that they managed to close down the Percival David Foundation, which once house one of the best collections of Chinese Ceramics anywhere in the world.

 


 
Found thanks to http://twitter.com/SabrinaBooks/status/19755524051
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Re: Warburg Institute troubles
Reply #9 - 02.08.2010 at 12:01:20
 
On facebook, at http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Warburg-Institute/130111620333260 you can read:
Quote:
Dear Colleagues and Friends,Many thanks for your support. The Warburg Institute is currently in discussion about the way forward. We will keep you informed; but for the time being, please hold your fire.

 


 
No comment.
 
From me.
 
Now.
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Grafton & Hamburger on Warburg Institute troubles
Reply #10 - 02.09.2010 at 09:03:30
 
Found thanks to The Warburg Institute's presence on facebook:
Anthony Grafton & Jeffrey Hamburger: Save the Warburg Library! (2010-09-01).
 
There you can read i.a.:
Quote:
In light of Warburg’s legacy, current threats to his institute’s very existence would apparently confirm Marx’s adage that great events happen twice, “once as tragedy, and again as farce.” It seems brutally ironic that the core of Warburg’s legacy is now under threat from the very university that helped ensure its survival.

If the university’s plans succeed, the institute will now have to abandon Warburg’s fundamental principles, lose control of its own books and periodicals (many of them acquired by gift or by the expenditure of the institute’s endowments), and shed, over time, the distinguished staff of scholars and scholar-librarians who train its students and continue to shape its holdings. The Warburg’s collections will become a component of the troubled library system of the University of London—a system that has already shown its willingness to sell off thousands of valuable books, and could do the same with part of the Warburg’s holdings, should it continue, as is likely, to find itself in financial straits. A center of European culture and a repository of the Western tradition that escaped Hitler and survived the Blitz may finally be destroyed by British bean-counters. It is a picture, in the words of H.L. Mencken, “to bemuse the vulgar and to give the judicious grief.”

...
Quote:
If the University of London insists on following through with its plan, perhaps the German authorities can find the means to bring the Warburg back to its original home. That would certainly be preferable to watching as philistines demolish a great European institution.

 
Well, in this case there is no so thing as "the German authorities": the universities are under the authority of the federal states where they are situated, and of the 16 federal states of Germany I guess some 3 (maybe even more) might perhaps be potentially interested to integrate the Warburg Institute into one of their universities or other research institutions (or - less probable IMO - to support it as an independent institution):

 
An other option might be to try to transfer the Warburg Institute as one of the humanities oriented institutes of the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft.
Or as a member institute of the Leibniz Gemeinschaft.
 
However: to make negotiations (including "pre-negotiations") about any such solution possible the Warburg Institute would have to take the initiative and express its interest in a re-transfer to Germany. And as of now I doubt will happen (the Warburg Institute has become a rather English institution by now IMO); but perhaps it did already happen, and I just don't know about it?
 
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Roeck on Warburg Institute troubles
Reply #11 - 02.09.2010 at 13:23:32
 
Also found thanks to The Warburg Institute's presence on facebook:  
Bernd Roeck: Wiege der Erkenntnis: Die legendäre Warburg-Bibliothek in London ist bedroht
 
Probably from from "Weltkunst" # 9 (2010).
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Re: Roeck on Warburg Institute troubles
Reply #12 - 09.09.2010 at 10:07:13
 
Quote from hck on 02.09.2010 at 13:23:32:
Also found thanks to The Warburg Institute's presence on facebook:
Bernd Roeck: Wiege der Erkenntnis: Die legendäre Warburg-Bibliothek in London ist bedroht

Probably from from "Weltkunst" # 9 (2010).

 
Now also pointed to at http://archiv.twoday.net/stories/6501342/ .
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Warburg Institute troubles: Davis & Reeve
Reply #13 - 15.09.2010 at 10:31:08
 
At http://warburg.sas.ac.uk/archives/kbw_articles/art_newspp216_9_10.pdf you can find letters by Graeme Davis (vice-chancellor University of London) and Michael Reeve (chairman, advisory council, Warburhg Institute), published (2010-09) as letters in The Art Newspaper, No. 216.
 
One of the topics is the meaning of "full involvement". Apparently the term is not interpreted exactly the same by both authors.
 
But these and some other aspects did not come as a major surprise to me.
 
However: Reading these letters: I was surprised at both letters mentioning "independence" as an issue. (Davis: "The university is not 'trying to curtail the Warburg's independence' but instead respects and takes great pride in, its unique character. The institute is part of the university ...", "self-governing" / Reeve: "it has proposed to set about replacing the trust deed, which obliges it to maintain the institute as an independent unit, with a new deed that contains no mention of independence.")
 
The concept of "independence" is anything but clear to me; I doubt whether it has a clear and precise meaning; and even assuming that it has a clear and precise meaning: I doubt whether is a useful concept or just something like the concept of "sovereignty" but in the context of sub-commonwealth institutions.
 
Apparently "independence" is not "autonomy" (we know from Aristotle that only beasts and gods can be autonomous, that autonomy is nothing human beings can have).
 
As of now the Warburg Institute seems to depend i.a. on:

  • the Warburg Institute staff being able to do and doing their job with a modicum (or more) of enthusiasm and dedication,
  • money received via the University of London and from other sources,
  • infrastructures (including the library!), programmes and actions attracting students and outside scholars.

 
(I doubt whether there is any institution <scholarly, commercial, political, whatever> which could be called truly independent.)
 
 
Worthwhile questions might be (i.a.):

  • Can the Warburg Institute staff continue to do their job with a modicum (or more) of enthusiasm and dedication and success?
  • Can the institute and its library maintain the present attractiveness to students and scholars?
  • Who is able to decide on major changes, who is able to enact major changes?
  • What are the options (if any) if there should be pressure for major changes negatively affecting the Warburg Institute staff and the institute's attractiveness to students and scholars?
  • Who decides on whether to investigate, test, pursue any such options (assumed that they do exist)?

 
 
 


 
Found i.a. thanks to Mark Thakkar on facebook.
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Warburg Institute troubles: Leiter
Reply #14 - 16.09.2010 at 12:39:05
 
Brian Leiter: Save the Warburg Library! (2010-09-15) writes (pointing to the text by Anthony Grafton and Jeffrey Hamburger pointed to and commented on here in this thread):
Quote:
Several readers have called this travesty-in-the-making to my attention. The collection survived the Nazis, but may not survive the new "corporate" model of higher education in Britain. A great opportunity for an entrepenurial university in North America or elsewhere!

 
Well, concerning the "A great opportunity for an entrepenurial university in North America or elsewhere! "-bit: The Warburg Institute up to now seems not to be "for sale". Maybe somebody there (or elsewhere) is contacting potential "investors"/new hosting institutions without my having received any information about this, but taking into account the upcoming change of directors I rather doubt it (Charles Hope acting in such a way IMO would act disloyal to his successor if he acted without his consent and if he did so with his consent: it would/could/should be seen as an action by his successor; Peter Mack  acting in such a way IMO would act disloyal to the institution having recently hired him; placing loyalty to the Warburg Institute over loyalty to the University of London, well, I know of no English equivalent of the German proverb "das Hemd ist näher als der Rock" or "das Wambs ist näher denn der Rock" <"the shirt - or waistcoat - is closer to the body than the coat">, and due to that ignorance of mine as of now I don't expect either director having <already> opened negotiations concerning institutional emigration; yes, in theory such exploration might already be undertaken by somebody else at the Warburg Institute, but if it is it is done rather silently.).  
Starting the other way round, i.e. a potential new hosting institution contacting the Warburg Institute without having previously received signals of interest from the Warburg Institute might be a rather bold way of action, and might be (mis-)read as equivalent to an attempt at "hostile takeover".
 
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Re: Grafton & Hamburger on Warburg Institute troub
Reply #15 - 22.09.2010 at 08:38:58
 
Quote from hck on 02.09.2010 at 09:03:30:
Found thanks to The Warburg Institute's presence on facebook:
Anthony Grafton & Jeffrey Hamburger: Save the Warburg Library! (2010-09-01).

There you can read i.a.:
Quote:
In light of Warburg’s legacy, current threats to his institute’s very existence would apparently confirm Marx’s adage that great events happen twice, “once as tragedy, and again as farce.” It seems brutally ironic that the core of Warburg’s legacy is now under threat from the very university that helped ensure its survival.

If the university’s plans succeed, the institute will now have to abandon Warburg’s fundamental principles, lose control of its own books and periodicals (many of them acquired by gift or by the expenditure of the institute’s endowments), and shed, over time, the distinguished staff of scholars and scholar-librarians who train its students and continue to shape its holdings. The Warburg’s collections will become a component of the troubled library system of the University of London—a system that has already shown its willingness to sell off thousands of valuable books, and could do the same with part of the Warburg’s holdings, should it continue, as is likely, to find itself in financial straits. A center of European culture and a repository of the Western tradition that escaped Hitler and survived the Blitz may finally be destroyed by British bean-counters. It is a picture, in the words of H.L. Mencken, “to bemuse the vulgar and to give the judicious grief.”

...
Quote:
If the University of London insists on following through with its plan, perhaps the German authorities can find the means to bring the Warburg back to its original home. That would certainly be preferable to watching as philistines demolish a great European institution.


Well, in this case there is no such thing as "the German authorities": the universities are under the authority of the federal states where they are situated, and of the 16 federal states of Germany I guess some 3 (maybe even more) might perhaps be potentially interested to integrate the Warburg Institute into one of their universities or other research institutions (or - less probable IMO - to support it as an independent institution):


An other option might be to try to transfer the Warburg Institute as one of the humanities oriented institutes of the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft.
Or as a member institute of the Leibniz Gemeinschaft.

However: to make negotiations (including "pre-negotiations") about any such solution possible the Warburg Institute would have to take the initiative and express its interest in a re-transfer to Germany. And as of now I doubt this will happen (the Warburg Institute has become a rather English institution by now IMO); but perhaps it did already happen, and I just don't know about it?


 
What appears to be a revised version of this text is now available at http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2010/sep/30/save-warburg-library/ .
 
It does still contain the sentences Quote:
If the University of London insists on following these examples of academic malfeasance, perhaps the German authorities can find the means to bring the Warburg back to its original home. That would certainly be preferable to watching as philistines demolish a great European institution.
, but at the end of the text you find:
  Quote:

Letters

Move the Warburg to L.A.? October 14, 2010

 
When you go to the URL pointed to there (http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2010/oct/14/move-warburg-l/ ) you get Quote:
'Move the Warburg to L.A.?' has not been published yet.
.
 
This might be seen as part of some sort of competition with the Warburg Institute as a prize indicating which region sports the best environment for advanced humanities studies, competitors being London, various institutions in Germany, and one or several institutions/cities/states in the USA, and perhaps also some other institution(s) up to now not yet mentioned.
 
However: I still hope that there will be no reason nor need for such a competition. Renaissance studies scholars i.a. need access to ample primary sources, and such access is provided by a few major libraries with really excellent holdings of such sources without too strong a regional focus (and IMO access to digitised copies will never be an equivalent "Ersatz"); the locations of such libraries are Washington, Paris, (to some degree) Rome, Munich, and last not least London, where the Warburg Institute is now located and hopefully will continue to be located and to prosper.
 


 
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2010/sep/30/save-warburg-library/ found by me thanks to an email by Victoria Musvik.
 


 
(Edited to reduce the number of errors of grammar and spelling.)
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Endrödi tweeting on Warburg Institute situation
Reply #16 - 22.09.2010 at 13:30:47
 
Gábor Endrödi (who tweets as 1100sor) today had several tweets on the Warburg Institute situation and perspectives:
 
Quote:
<Article> Grafton/Hamburger: Save the #Warburg Library (this is now the fulltext of what earlier circulated as preview) http://bit.ly/96UiS9
(http://twitter.com/1100sor/status/25199785770 )
 
 
Quote:
@hckGGREN adds some thoughts on the option of repatriating the #Warburg in Germany http://bit.ly/9MKeD1
(http://twitter.com/1100sor/status/25199877831 )
 
 
 
Quote:
Given the multiple contacts of the #Warburg circle to the Vienna school of art history, #Vienna could be quite an option too ... (1/2)
(http://twitter.com/1100sor/status/25200032999 )
 
Quote:
... and in this case I could manage visits in one-day tours (2/2) #Warburg
(http://twitter.com/1100sor/status/25200167883 )
 
 


 
Thanks for the permission to quote this (http://twitter.com/1100sor/status/25201420135 )!
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Victoria Musvik on the Warburg Institute situation
Reply #17 - 24.09.2010 at 16:43:46
 
At http://victorieuse.livejournal.com/206668.html you can read a 2010-09-22 posting by Victoria Musvik (Виктория Мусвик (victorieuse)) (plus commentaries).
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Rowland &c. on the Warburg Institute library &c.
Reply #18 - 04.10.2010 at 09:32:21
 
[quote author=hck link=1273043425/0#15 date=1285137538]Quote from hck on 02.09.2010 at 09:03:30:

<...>
at the end of the text you find:
Quote:

Letters

Move the Warburg to L.A.? October 14, 2010


When you go to the URL pointed to there (http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2010/oct/14/move-warburg-l/ ) you get Quote:
'Move the Warburg to L.A.?' has not been published yet.
.

 
By now the text has been published:
Move the Warburg to L.A.? (Ingrid D. Rowland, reply by Anthony Grafton and Jeffrey Hamburger)
 
Rowland writes i.a.:
Quote:
Save the Warburg library? That cry [Anthony Grafton and Jeffrey Hamburger, NYR, September 30] should have gone up years ago, when the institution decided—of its own volition—to sell off the books bequeathed it by the eminent scholar Frances Yates, a frequent contributor to these pages and quite possibly the most influential—certainly the most inspirational—of all the scholars the operation in Woburn Square has ever produced. The books thus sacrificed on the altar of mammon were not duplicates; they were the very books in which Dame Frances wrote her penciled notes. They are historical records of enormous value, and they now reside at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles—at least we may be grateful that they were not sold off piecemeal.

...
Quote:
Ironically, therefore, one way to restore—restore, not save—the integrity of the Warburg library’s collection (and more than its collection) is to sell the whole damn thing to the Getty. Aby Warburg, passionately interested in the American Southwest, could have adjusted to L.A. at least as easily as those adoptive Angelenos Thomas Mann and Arnold Schoenberg.

 
 
From Grafton's & Hamburger's response:
Quote:
What matters most is to see this unique library preserved. We would certainly rather see it sent to Los Angeles than broken up or entrusted to the wrong hands. But we believe that it should stay in London, close to the British Library and British Museum and only a couple of hours’ travel from the other great collections of the United Kingdom and the Continent—research in all of which it continues to sustain.

 
 
I don't understand the "or entrusted to the wrong hands" bit. And: IMO the Warburg Institute is more than just its library, and even the library is more than just the books etc. it consists of right now. As a museum documenting 20th century renaissance studies scholars' work the Warburg institute would loose its importance as a place dedicated (i.a.) to renaissance studies and just be a collection of interest to those studying 20th century intellectual history. There is more than one way to kill an institution ... .
 
 
BTW: see also http://twitter.com/charlesnodier/status/26213091759
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Rumours&reports: Warburg Institute troubles: AFWI
Reply #19 - 06.10.2010 at 11:29:05
 
At http://enfilade18thc.wordpress.com/2010/10/06/american-friends-of-the-warburg-in stitute/ you can read (i.a.):
Quote:
In regards to the uncertain future of the Warburg Library, Mary Garrard offers the following information (posted on the caah listserv) . . .

There exists a group called the American Friends of the Warburg Institute (AFWI), which solicits and accepts contributions to support the Warburg Library. On September 28, their board voted to help substantially defray the costs of legal procedures to keep the Warburg Institute from being subsumed into the general London University Library system.

 
Unanswered questions (i.a.):
  • Whose costs?
  • On whose behalf?
  • With whose money?
  • What costs?
  • Which legal procedures?
  • Why is the Warburg Institute considered to be identical with its library?

 


 
Found thanks to http://twitter.com/gordonchls/status/26534661281 (retweeted by Gábor Endrődi).
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Warburg Institute: ABCradio interview with Grafton
Reply #20 - 11.10.2010 at 09:14:15
 
At http://www.abc.net.au/rn/bookshow/stories/2010/3033247.htm viz. http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/rn/podcast/2010/10/bsw_20101011_1025.mp3 you can find a 2011-10-11 ABC radio interview with Anthony Grafton.
 
I'll try to give some sort of an abstract.
 
The interview is on Aby Warburg and his library. And then about studying at the Warburg Institute in the 1970s.
 
And then on the present worries about the Warburg Institute and its library. Grafton says i.a. that he is not reassured about the University of London's praise of the Warburg Institute. He says integrating its library into the UoL collections is no good idea as in the past there have been made problematic de-accessioning decisions concerning UoL books. He says: whether outside institutions should help is for the bWarburg and its governing/advisory bodies to decide. He praises Peter Mack (the newly appointed director of the Warburg Institute. And he says that UoL doesn't believe in scholar-librarians and doesn't understand the Warburg Institute.
 


 
Two observations: Far more "Warburg Institute" people from the 1970s are praised than present "Warburg Institute people" (my terms). The portions of the interview dedicated to the present "worries" have, well, quite some focus on the library.
 


 
Found thanks to http://twitter.com/1100sor/status/27010310577 .
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Re: Rowland &c. on the Warburg Institute library &
Reply #21 - 21.10.2010 at 18:15:20
 
Quote from hck on 04.10.2010 at 09:32:21:

<...>
By now the text has been published:
Move the Warburg to L.A.? (Ingrid D. Rowland, reply by Anthony Grafton and Jeffrey Hamburger)

Rowland writes i.a.:
Quote:
Save the Warburg library? That cry [Anthony Grafton and Jeffrey Hamburger, NYR, September 30] should have gone up years ago, when the institution decided—of its own volition—to sell off the books bequeathed it by the eminent scholar Frances Yates, a frequent contributor to these pages and quite possibly the most influential—certainly the most inspirational—of all the scholars the operation in Woburn Square has ever produced. The books thus sacrificed on the altar of mammon were not duplicates; they were the very books in which Dame Frances wrote her penciled notes. They are historical records of enormous value, and they now reside at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles—at least we may be grateful that they were not sold off piecemeal.

...
Quote:
Ironically, therefore, one way to restore—restore, not save—the integrity of the Warburg library’s collection (and more than its collection) is to sell the whole damn thing to the Getty. Aby Warburg, passionately interested in the American Southwest, could have adjusted to L.A. at least as easily as those adoptive Angelenos Thomas Mann and Arnold Schoenberg.



<...>

 
By now there is a reply by Peter Mack and Jill Kraye: http://warburg.sas.ac.uk/archives/kbw_articles/nyb1110.pdf .
 


 
Found thanks to a posting by The Warburg Institute on facebook.
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Re: Rowland &c. on the Warburg Institute library &
Reply #22 - 22.10.2010 at 11:51:30
 
Quote from hck on 21.10.2010 at 18:15:20:


By now there is a reply by Peter Mack and Jill Kraye: http://warburg.sas.ac.uk/archives/kbw_articles/nyb1110.pdf .


 
 
Now also available in purely electronic form: Peter Mack and Jill Kraye: Did the Warburg do right by Frances Yates? (dated 2010-11-11 - though available alredy now).
i.a.:
Quote:
All judgments are open to question and to revision in light of later perspectives. Notes that did not appear significant to Trapp may seem of “enormous value” to Rowland. Also, more attention is paid nowadays to “marks in books” than was customary thirty years ago—with recent bequests, the Warburg library has accessioned duplicates even where the annotation was scant and apparently of no great significance. By the standards of the 1980s, however, not retaining all the Yates duplicates, in a library with space problems, was a justifiable, sensible, and pragmatic decision.

...
Quote:
Yates often expressed the belief, as Trapp recalled in a memoir, that “her work was there to be developed by ‘nackwacks’ (= Nachwuchs, the new generation).” The sale furthered, in both Los Angeles and London, the goal dearest to the heart of a great scholar.

 


 
Found thanks to a posting by The Warburg Institute on facebook.
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Re: Rumours & reports about Warburg Institute trou
Reply #23 - 18.11.2010 at 10:20:25
 
Thanks to several places on facebook I found this:
Iris Hellmuth & Thomas Andre: Ein Denkmal europäischen Geistes ("Hamburger Abendblatt" 2010-11-06).
 
Quote:
"Forscher kamen so allein durch das Betrachten der Titel und das Schmökern am Regal assoziativ auf Zusammenhänge, die durch systematisches Arbeiten mit Katalogen und schon gar nicht durch Googeln zu erschließen sind", sagt Bernd Roeck, Professor für Geschichte der Neuzeit an der Uni Zürich. Roeck arbeitete einst am Warburg Institute in London und bekleidet im nächsten Jahr wahrscheinlich die Warburg-Professur in Hamburg, er sagt: "Die Uni London versichert die Unabhängigkeit des Instituts auch bei einer Eingliederung in die eigene Bibliothek - da stellt sich die Frage, was eine Veränderung des Istzustands überhaupt bringt."

...
Quote:
Nicht weniger dramatisch klingt Max Warburg, Direktor des Bankhauses, wenn er die Pläne der Londoner Universität als einen "Skandal" bezeichnet. Es war schließlich sein eigener Vater, Eric Warburg, der im November 1944 die Schenkung durch einen Vertrag besiegelte. "Und aus dem ursprünglichen Vertrag geht eindeutig hervor, dass das Institut selbstständig bleiben soll und auch selbstständig zu finanzieren ist. Ich bin sehr enttäuscht über die jetzige Diskussion, die Familie Warburg wird rechtlich alles unternehmen, um dagegen vorzugehen und das jetzige Vorhaben zu verhindern."

...
Quote:
Beide Seiten, sowohl das Warburg Institute in London wie auch die dortige Universität, beraten sich derzeit mit ihren Anwälten. "Ein bisschen erinnert diese Geschichte ans Altonaer Museum - erst wird die Schließung verkündet, dann stellt man fest: Das geht rechtlich gar nicht."

Um die Schließung zu ermöglichen, müssten die im Schenkungsvertrag von 1944 genannten Bedingungen verändert werden - das ginge allerdings nur, wenn die Universität glaubhaft machen könnte, dass diese Bedingungen nicht mehr zeitgemäß sind.

 
And: There is a linked to some content available only to subscribers: "Offen gesagt Holt Warburgs Erbe zurück 6. November 2010, 07:42 Uhr Ein Kommentar von Thomas Andre" / roughly: "Get Warburg's heritage back" (to Hamburg, I assume).  
What soever that Warburg heritage might be exactly: I have no idea. Just the books present in the library at the time Aby Warburg died? The the books present in the library at the time of its getting to Britain? The Warburg library as it was in 1944? The Warburg Institute Library as it is today? The Warburg Institute? Under what terms? Funded by whom? Funded for how many years?
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Re: Rumours & reports about Warburg Institute trou
Reply #24 - 19.11.2010 at 08:47:24
 
At https://twitter.com/_belphoebe_/statuses/5404876855054338 you can read:
Quote:
Warburg Institute fans rejoice? "On avance vers le début d'une solution": F. Quiviger today during the Warburg conference in Paris. #Warburg
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