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The President and Fellows of Harvard College Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology

Aby Warburg in America Again: With an Edition of His Unpublished Correspondence with Edwin R. A. Seligman (1927-1928) Author(s): Davide Stimilli, Aby Warburg, Edwin R. A. Seligman Source: RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics, No. 48, Permanent/Impermanent (Autumn, 2005), pp. 193-206 Published by: The President and Fellows of Harvard College acting through the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20167687 . Accessed: 06/05/2011 16:12
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Aby Warburg

inAmerica again
correspondence with

With an edition of his unpublished Edwin R. A. Seligman (1927-1928)


In recent years, the work of Aby Warburg (1866-1929) has attracted renewed interest in the United States, focusing on his famous trip to the Hopi regions of Arizona in the waning years of the nineteenth and New Mexico century. The trip took place in 1896 and became the topic of the equally famous "Lecture on Serpent Ritual"1 that in Ludwig Binswanger's sanatorium Switzerland. Kreuzungen, for the mentally

however, he never gave up such a hope, Undoubtedly, in and the last years of his life, as this correspondence reveals, he came very close indeed to turning it into the reality. But in the end, he could not overcome formidable opposition of his relatives, on both sides of the Atlantic, and the authoritative advice of Binswanger, who was credited for his recovery and was called upon on the matter by Aby's brother, Max. for a consultation first American Warburg's trip was triggered by the of of another brother his, Paul, to Nina Loeb, wedding on 1895. October This family event led James's sister, 1, an expedition almost by chance to its appendix, to the American West, which occurred on the spur of the as it were, because of Aby's distaste for what moment, he perceived as the "emptiness of civilization in the never American East."5 That the second trip happened, on the other hand, is it particularly intriguing because was planned well ahead and case his Warburg argued failure to forcefully, though unsuccessfully. Warburg's to an American make his own work accessible lay audience in for his belated reception partly accounts this country. The publication of the correspondence with Edwin a necessary Robert Anderson is (1861-1939) Seligman to future "definitive any complement biography" of Aby a is it also of Warburg;6 proof Warburg's enduring interest in the question of Fortuna. The topic of Alfred Doren's lecture, "Fortuna in the Middle Ages and in the Renaissance und in der (Fortuna imMittelalter was obviously of great interest to Renaissance)7 Warburg since his 1907 study on Francesco Sassetti.8 While
5. Cit. in E. H. Gombrich, 2nd ed. (Chicago:

Warburg delivered on April 21, 1923, while hospitalized

ill in

The correspondence here for the first time2 published a still the best available record of provides largely in His thwarted life: unexplored chapter Warburg's In a letter dated October attempt to return to America.3 3, 1905, to Charles Eliot Norton, whom he had met at ten years earlier through the good Harvard University wrote: "I offices of James Loeb, Warburg prophetically come to dare not hope that I America again."4 might
The correspondence is preserved Seligman Book and Manuscript and Edwin R. A. Aby Warburg the Edwin R. A. Seligman Papers, Rare with the exception Library, Columbia University, between


of the first letter in the series,which Ipublish from a copy in the

I Institute Archive. to thank Jean Ashton, wish director of the Warburg Rare Book and Manuscript and Charles Library, Columbia University, director of the Warburg Institute, for having graciously Hope, granted me to publish these documents. letters are permission Seligman's in their original letters are in German, reproduced English. Warburg's I and have been translated by me; to thank Gin iAlhadeff wish for her editorial

their translation. help with 1. First published under that title in an English version by W. F. in the Journal of the Mainland Institute 2 (1938-1939), pp. Warburg as then in German Raulff Ein Ulrich 277-292, by Schlangenritual: (Berlin: Wagenbach, 1988), and in a new English P. Michael under the title Images from the Region by Steinberg Indians of North America Pueblo (Ithaca and London: Cornell Reisebericht Press, 1995). University 2. With the exception of the in an Italian translation published 31, from the carbon 3. letter of August 17, in autaut 321-322 version of the

1927, which (2004), pp. 30 Institute Archive.

Biography, Erinnerungen desideratum


An Intellectual Aby Warburg: of Chicago Press 1986), York 1947, p. 45), this fulfilled by Gombrich's still published under the same

p. 88.

6. Already invokedby Carl Georg Heise in 1947 (Pers?nliche

an Aby New Warburg, has only been partially intellectual biography. on March 24,

in the Warburg copy preserved In the final pages of the essay his translation accompanying A Lecture: 106-109), pp. ("AbyWarburg's Kreuzungen Reading," contacts with Paul J. Sachs, associate Steinberg discusses Warburg's at Harvard University, director of the Fogg Museum and Franz Boas, professor trip, but

indispensable 7. Delivered



inVortr?geder BibliothekWarburg 2 (1922-1923) (Leipzig: Teubner,

1924), pp. 71-144. 8. "Francesco Kunstwissenschaftliche Hiersemann, 1907), Sassettis letztwillige Verf?gung," first published in

at Columbia of anthropology in view of the 1928 University, is unaware of Seligman's role in scheme. prominent Warburg's 4. Quoted inAnne Marie Meyer, in His Early "Aby Warburg The American Scholar 57 (1988): p. 450.


Beitr?ge August Schmarsow gewidmet (Leipzig: in Gesammelte pp. 129-152, reprinted Warburg's


RES 48 AUTUMN 2005

of Sassetti's last injunctions editing the manuscript had been struck by the unorthodox sons, Warburg in the will of this invocation of a Roman goddess Christian

to his

merchant. One may argue that the question asked in 1907: "Why was this particular pagan Warburg as the stylistic deity, Fortuna, revived by the Renaissance of worldly energy,"9 led him to the embodiment in the paganism focus of his In considering the fate of Fortuna ensuing scholarship. was moreover that itself,Warburg posing a question remains central to any interpretation of the to reconcile the How is it possible Renaissance:10 investigation Renaissance of the revival of ancient that was to be the main of human freedom and of the with the still pervasive acceptance individuality most in of fate human life? (The agency striking instance in the Renaissance is the ubiquitous of their coexistence belief in astrology, another topic, not by chance, dear to emerging consciousness in publications Warburg.) After reading all of Warburg's view of a first projected edition of his collected writings (as early as 1921), Fritz Saxl points out that "the turning uvre appears to in Warburg's point (derWendepunkt)" the Sassetti essay: "From that him to be precisely moment on, every work ismore and more not just a a human document."11 Warburg historical but rather seems to have shared Saxl's assessment, since he chose Doren's lecture to submit Sassetti and the essay precisely to art history, to Seligman as examples of his approach and their treatment of Fortuna as the best case studies of his method at work. And certainly his continuing

to Fortuna is a thread uniting the two halves of life, if one can divide it up that way.12 Warburg's Warburg may have already met Seligman, who was to career as McVickar retire in 1931 after a distinguished at of Columbia University, professor political economy devotion on the occasion In addition of his first trip to America. to the book that Seligman sent toWarburg at the time of of Installment this correspondence, The Economics Credit, With Special Selling: A Study In Consumers' Reference To The Automobile (1927), two more books of are in the library of theWarburg present Seligman's that may suggest previous Institute, a circumstance contacts between the two: The Currency Problem And The Present Financial Situation: A Series Of Addresses Delivered and The Economic 7907-/908(1908), Of (1907; all Interpretation History Columbia three published Press). University by An important liaison between the two was certainly James Loeb, the founder of the Loeb Classical Library, University At Columbia


and his of Paul Warburg had, since the wedding to Germany. In a letter sister Nina, moved permanently toWarburg that dated March 29, 1923, Loeb suggested he send his essay on Sassetti to Seligman, who would read it with

interest.13 However, Warburg, who was at time still in Kreuzungen, did not take up the the was until he recovered, at least suggestion completely from his point of view, and started to entertain the idea return to America. This must have seemed of a possible to him a way of coming full circle and facing the East coast from which he had escaped the first time around,

though his dislike of New York is still palpable. But the

trip was

(with the same [Berlin: Akademie Verlag, pagination Last Injunctions Sassetti's 1998], vol. 1.1); trans. David Britt, "Francesco to the to His Sons," The Renewal of Pagan Antiquity: Contributions Renaissance of the European Cultural History (Los Angeles: Getty Schriften (Berlin: Teubner, 1932), vol. in the new Studienausgabe 1, pp. Research 223-262. 9. "Warum ihren Anteil an der Stilbildung see above, erh?lt" ("Verf?gung," und fordert Energie weltzugewandter see above, p. 240). p. 145; "Injunctions," in der und Kosmos Individuum 10. Starting with Cassirer's heidnischen he 1927), which (Leipzig: Teubner, on the latter's 60th birthday, and one of whose toWarburg "Freiheit und to this question: is devoted precisely chapters in der Philosophie der Renaissance" (pp. 77-129). Notwendigkeit Saxl to General 11. Warburg Institute Archive, Correspondence, was read with particular Warburg, April 1, 1921. That this essay Philosophie dedicated der Renaissance interest by Ludwig diary on September Binswanger, [Frankfurt/M.: as well, is proven by an entry in his Binswanger, in Sigmund Freud and Ludwig 16, 1924 (quoted Fichtner ed. Gerhard Briefwechsel 1908-1938, Fischer, 1992], p. 200). im Symbole gerade G?ttin die Renaissance dieser wiedererweckten Institute for the History of Art and the Humanities, 1999), pp.


as wholly unrealistic.15 That other in last his "haymaking of years, Warburg's daring project a thunderstorm also (Heuernte bei Gewitter)/^6 remained on paper. dismissed

completed Binswanger

tour.Warburg not meant to be just a sightseeing on his return from America to bring back an ambition that his atlas Mnemosyne^4

12. The ongoing


of Warburg's that Warburg's i.e., before




the misperception correcting in two periods, neatly divided

may be indeed biography and after the Kreuzungen

years. 13. Warburg Institute Archive, General Correspondence. 14. Universit?tsarchiv UAT 443/31, Warburg T?bingen, Binswanger, July 12, 1928. T?bingen, July 18, 1928. Warburg, 16. Gertrud Bing's translation, memoir," from His p. 17. Fritz Saxl Friends (1890-1948): in England, ?d. D. 15. Universit?tsarchiv UAT 443/31, in "Fritz Saxl Binswanger

to to

A Volume

A (1890-1948): of Memorial Essays (London: Nelson, J. Gordon 1957),

Stimuli: Aby Warburg

inAmerica again



if they already knew each other, a more in July between the two occurred meeting a when to visited with mandate 1927, Europe Seligman recruit European contributors to the project of an of the Social Sciences, of which he was Encyclopaedia Even to

the editor-in-chief. The project that Seligman was on was a most ambitious one, and certain embarking attract Warburg's was launched in It attention. April 1927,17 and in the summer of that year the editor-in chief

seemed to have been agreed upon. But Encyclopaedia in the already Report of Progress of April 1928, the of "the inclusion of more or less outlying fields, question which have never yet been comprised under the head of social sciences, but which now become necessary or at all events desirable" is raised as "one of the most that confront the editors. Such are, for questions instance, the problems as to how far we should deal with art, with philology, with religion, with education and the like."23 In the first chapter of the introduction, difficult

"went to Europe in order to enlist the support of the leading European scholars."18 Seligman turned to Max Warburg for hospitality in Hamburg, as we learn from a letter by the latter preserved among the Seligman Papers, dated April 3, 1927, welcoming Seligman's visit, which was to occur between July 10 and 15. Max quips: "Every road leads to Rome, namely, to Hamburg."19 The then on July 16, 1927, as we meeting with Aby occurred know with from the journals of the library,20 and conflicted the visit of another scholar, the editor of the influential literary journal Deutsche Viertelsjahrsschrift f?r Literaturwissenschaft und Geistesgeschichte. Warburg

Are the Social signed by Seligman and titled "What

Sciences?," art appears last, after the "purely social" and the "semi-social sciences," along with biology, and linguistics, and only a few geography, medicine, lines are devoted to it: Itgoes without saying that art as creative activity stands in contrast with science, whose objective is analysis and understanding. But artistic creation is dominated by values and these are, at least in part, of social origin. In the history of art there ismuch that helps to explain social institutions, and vice versa. No one who wishes to understand the operation of social laws in the modern world can afford to overlook the evidence offered by the arts.24 do not learn from the correspondence whether concerns were paramount in reaching the final or whether decision, Warburg's approach was We

felt that Seligman had therefore been "rushed" through the presentation of his plans for "a large sociological (forwhich "750,000 dollars" were encyclopaedia" available), and asked him to return the following day. After this second meeting, Warburg's tone was "He I he and came, saw, won," he boasts, triumphant: and announces that Seligman "immediately to decided take into his own hands the organization of my visit in March 1928, and therefore, what ismost important, to talk with Paul."21Warburg concludes with what seems in hindsight a rather na?ve optimism: "There will be still several difficulties of no small kind to overcome, but I see?land." The following day he was already checking the schedules of steamers for America.22 At the time of Seligman's trip to Europe, the inclusion of art among the topics to be addressed in the


to Seligman and his collaborators. In any unpalatable was the "Art" a to entrusted team of event, entry finally the under Irwin of Edman. Iquote scholars, leadership just a passage from the section on modern art, by Edwin Avery Park, to give a sense of its overall tone: Today, strongly influenced by Cubism, a group of young
Americans are attempting to throw aside the continental

tradition and paint in their own manner. ?John Martin, Georgia O'Keeffe, Charles Burchfield, and Charles Demuth are mentioned.] All of these artists confine themselves
almost entirely to the small picture, since economic

17. Seligman of the Social Rapers, Box 38, Encyclopaedia letter by Alvin Johnson, president of the New School for Sciences, Social Research and managing to F. P. editor of the Encyclopaedia, October 31, 1930. Keppel, The Carnegie Corporation, 18. Seligman Box of the Social 38, Papers, Encyclopaedia Sciences, p. 4. Received. 20. Cf. Studienausgabe, vol. VII: Tageb?cher der Bibliothek Warburg, Kulturwissenschaftlichen ed. K. Michels Schoell-Glass (Berlin: Akademie p. 120. Verlag, 2001), 21. Ibid. 22. Cf. Tageb?cher, note 20, p. 121. Report of Progress by the Editor-in-Chief, December, 1927,

pressure has had its effect on wall space. There are few homes today large enough to hang a big canvas, a factor of great importance in present day development.25 It is hard to imagine how could have fared Warburg in that company. His name, as far as Ican tell, surfaces at least once in the in the bibliography Encyclopaedia, to the article on "Astrology," penned by the historian of science Charles to the the collaborators Singer.26 Among
23. Seligman Papers, Box 38, see note 18, April 1928, p. 5. of the Social Sciences, 15 vols. (New York: vol. I, p. 7, c. 2. of the Social Sciences, of the Social Sciences, vol. vol. c. 2. c. 1.

19. Seligman


Box 51, Uncataloged


and C.



Macmillan, 1930-1935), 25. Encyclopaedia 26. Encyclopaedia

II, p. 257, I, p. 289,




University project was another professor at Columbia Franz Boas, to of Warburg's, and long-time acquaintance is due. Strangely the entry "Anthropology" whom was entrusted to the the entry "Positivism" enough, Italian philosopher Guido De Ruggero, certainly no adherent of the doctrine, but rather a proponent of to the idealism, and, incidentally, also a contributor a project that was completed in italiana, Enciclopedia the publication of the those very years (1929-1937; started in 1930, of the Social Sciences, Encyclopaedia was completed in 1935). . Another factor that may have brought the two men at first, besides the familial ties, was their together shared passion for books. Seligman was no unlikely interlocutor forWarburg, given his bibliophily. The Rare Book and Manuscript University Library at Columbia I found not hosts only Seligman's papers, among which the still uncataloged hereby presented, correspondence but also one of the world's best and most extensive related and manuscripts of books, pamphlets, collection to economics. We do not know from the their the two discussed whether correspondence but it is certainly collections, likely that as saw of this side Seligman's personality Warburg another potential ally in bringing his plan to fruition. The was sold to Columbia University at the time of library was supplemented retirement and by 6,000 Seligman's more volumes that Seligman bought before his death from his estate in and Columbia University purchased respective 1942. As an obituary boldly puts it, Seligman believed of that "the true university of today is a collection books."27 The same writer, the British economist G. the "delight" Seligman took Findlay Shirras, underlines in his pamphlets and his insistence that every pamphlet be separately bound, contrary to the eighteenth-century in a series of volumes, practice of binding pamphlets to him dictum that "I am a Smith's Adam and applies beau in nothing but my books."28 too, has more legitimate claims Fortunately, Warburg, renown of his name. than just his books to the enduring

in Edwin Robert Anderson Findlay Shirras, "A Tribute," at the Memorial Addresses delivered (1861-1939): Meeting Seligman 1939 in the Low Memorial the thirteenth, held on December Library are appended Tributes to Memorial at Columbia To which University. Professor Press, 1942), (Stamford, Conn.: The Overbrook Seligman 27. G. p. 79. 28. Ibid., p. 81.

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inAmerica again


Edwin Seligman-Aby



July29, 192729
To Professor Edwin Seligman Au soins de Messrs Meyer & Cie Paris 45 bis Bvd Haussmann thanks for your note.30 We wish you, your wife, and your daughter a will send you as soon as possible a of your trip, and I very happy continuation research. piece of writing on the position of my Institute to sociological Heartfelt With my kindest regards,




copy, Warburg

Institute Archive,



not find the original



Papers. Seligman 30. Not extant.




II Prof. Dr. A. Warburg31 Hamburg, August 17, 1927 114 Heilwigstrasse Prof. Edwin Seligman C/o Banque Seligman

Meyer & Cie

45 Bvd Haussmann Paris My dear Edwin Seligman,32 It is only now, after the last lecture in our long summer series has been that Ican finally thank you wholeheartedly I take delivered for your letter,33 which as an encouraging as a a of both and friend scholar, your lively interest, symptom In the limited time that I had at my disposal, Icould only hint at that impel me to dare a second trip to America. Ibelieve that in the 32 years that have elapsed since my first trip to America, to the point that it on both the history of art has developed would be worthwhile, to the trend that Ipractice, informed by cultural study sides, to introduce America for my Institute. the reasons (kulturwissenschaftliche essential sociology attempted, Tendenz), and Iexpect from American positivism an to to conjoin of have made been my way impulse thinking. Attempts and art history in individual essays and writings, but no one has yet

to clearly establish the function of society as a stylistic inmy opinion, and historical factor, starting from the simple philological interpretation of an artistic monument. Let us try in this sense of a new "energetic aesthetics"34 to interpret, for instance, the creation of the figure of Fortuna, as she appears, firstly, as Fortuna spinning the wheel, secondly, as Fortuna with the lock, and thirdly, as Fortuna with the rudder and the sail: each of these mirrors three typical phases of man's In the case of Fortuna with the wheel, he is the struggle with existence. as criminals bound to a wheel; in a reversal that object, placed on the wheel remains to him incomprehensible and incalculable, he reaches from below the top In the case of Fortuna with the lock, who has and then sinks down to the bottom. found her re-impression, Occasio going back it isman, to ancient now, who in the Renaissance representations, tries to grab fate by the lock and a booty, as an executioner holds up the the sail comes to the fore. for the goddess of Fortuna carries

(cf. Macchiavelli), were takes possession of the head as if it Between head of the beheaded. these two, Fortuna with to ancient representations,

She, too, harks back

31. 32. passim 33.

1927. Received, Papers, Box 51, Uncataloged Correspondence Seligman in which Iwrite on p. 130 and From Leipzig you will receive a Festschrift f?r Schmarsow, on the Italian representations in ink, in of Fortuna. [Added on the margin hand.] Warburg's Not extant. marks added in ink, in Warburg's hand.

34. Quotation

Stimuli: Aby Warburg

inAmerica again


the rudder among the Romans, as well, and she is, as Isis eupleua35 with the full But the early Renaissance has sail, also the goddess of propitious navigation. a into the symbol transformed the goddess with the sail, in very peculiar manner, at to fate. She stands the which the full of an active-passive mast, fighter against sail man at the center of the ship, lady of the ship but not entirely, since a sits at the rudder and steers the course at least in the direction of the diagonal in the parallelogram of the forces. Carried by the elements, and yet capable of is appended, as a new energetic

can refer to this coinage reaching a new goal by steering?one function of the cerebral man in the era of America's discovery. Thanks to such an interpretatio of the simplest kind I would unnoticed meaning ancient mythical

of a series of such symbols, drawn and historical tradition, as stimuli to the communication and would produce so to speak, in the development to show you a positive example the documents

illustrate the as yet from the circle of the of

energetic self-perception, and words as stations, image

in thereby necessary of the world view of

In order the European man. Ienclose research would assume, Alfred Doren, been

printed I As you can see, what wish not that does purport majorum positivism documents overlooked With Seligman, (Bild-Dokumente)36

of the shape that such the essay of my long-time friend and colleague, who spoke on Fortuna years ago at my library, and which has since in our series of lectures. to present is a straightforward to be anything other than an Positivismus), which to social psychology, interpretatio more

(ein bildvergleichender

image-comparing can however supply visual which has up to now of society. and Miss

them, as not unconditionally best regards (also from my wife

to the doctrine belonging and children) to you, Mrs.

Aby Warburg37

35. vols.

Cf. Wilhelm

H. R?scher, 1884-1937),

Ausf?hrliches ad vocem


(Leipzig: Teubner, 37. Greetings added

"Isis," vol. hand.

der griechiscen 2, col. 485.




36. Bild added in inkbyWarburg.

in ink, in Warburg's


RES 48 AUTUMN 2005

October Herrn Professor Heilwigstrasse Hamburg Dr. A. Warburg 114 17, 192738

My dear Abie [sic]:

that at the time of your most interesting lectures [sic] we in either talked about the possibility of your sending me a little memorandum, art. as I to have talked the of ideas German or English, explaining your sociology You will remember the matter over with give them a very clear near future to send me for scholars who Iam not able to some of my colleagues here, and, of course, time If the it within is all the what find idea of about. you such a memorandum, please remember that it is intended art. You will, therefore, have to keep

it very general I hope that you can do this soon, as we shall have to decide before very long as to include this topic in our Encyclopedia. to whether of Could you, in addition, help me in another matter? In an announcement I remember to have seen within on philosophy and sociology, which on I noticed three or four books announced the last few weeks somewhere, some books various Could phases of the sociology and the sociology of the bildende K?nste. on such an announcement and tell me lay your hand books and the respective authors? Ifyou do not of music I

really know very little about and rather elementary.

you, by any chance, anything about the projected happen to know anything about have a dim recollection

could help you. them, probably some bookseller that Professor Schumpeter was one of the editors of the

series, but Iam not quite sure. How are you all? I have not forgotten your intention to come over and pay us a Iam not at all sure whether that will be the wise visit in the Spring, but, of course, thing for you. With kind regards to your good wife I remain to Max and Alice, and family, and with affectionate greetings

Edwin R. A. Seligman







191, Miscellaneous.

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IV Florence, November 1, 192739

My dear Edwin Seligman, Since I had received no reply to my letter of August 17, Ihad begun to fear that neither the letter nor the enclosures (a volume of Vortr?ge with the essay by Doren on Fortuna)40 had reached you through your French bank. From your friendly letter regret, that you have indeed not received my letter, course Ihad of which written, without delay, since so much depends on our so Ienclose therefore, a copy of the letter of August 17,41 promising understanding. as well as the printed matter once again from Hamburg.42 of October 17, I see, with The months Florence American by between your kind visit and my present stay in have strengthened my resolve to get personally acquainted with in the Ican well science. imagine that for outsiders and for art historians that have gone should live in closest

and art history usual style it is not easy to see why sociology art contact. Especially inAmerica the trend in history, which of the individual work

takes the description of art as its goal and therefore implicitly grants to the owner has just arrived. the right to the most personal artistic enjoyment, from at least Please do not let yourself be shaken by any kind of bonsens

and art history as the object of an sociology looking at the contact between in 1928, Ihope to achieve is what inevitable recognition. This precisely Ihave to overcome. all the difficulties notwithstanding to express something more general on the development of art no new art to life is the of and the endeavor, contrary: already in synopsis history: histories of civilization that the '60s the French (for instance Lacroix) published I seize the chance were very appetizingly presented and have thus shown the way to a cheap kind of (Ragoutk?che), whose demise must be counted as a merit of more

ragout cooking recent art history. Ifan oscillation in the previous direction is now setting in, it does so in a very different vein from the preceding one: we now uncompromisingly to the work of art, that the voice that is heard be temporally consonant demand whether we look for it in poetry and prose or in original documents. Word in order general). image as a higher unity must be interrogated as spiritual documents to recover the essence of the European man (and eventually of mankind and


39. 40. 41.

Seligman and my

Papers, essay


105, Encyclopaedia

Sent Correspondence.


the date:


days Hamburg) [added in English in ink, in Warburg's hand].

in will [added in ink on the margin, hand]. Warburg's Box the Miscellaneous. 191, among preserved Papers, Seligman 42. The first shipment must have reached Seligman & Fine Arts after all: the Avery Architectural holds the volume of the Vortr?ge with Warburg's University Library at Columbia inscription: autograph "To his dear Edwin Seligman," and the date August his donated 19, 1927. To the same library Seligman Also copy clearly Vortr?ge. of the Festschrift in Warburg's f?r Schmarsow. hand, pointing Neither volume contains lecture to the title of Doren's an arrow, besides any further marking, in the table of contents of the on Sassett?s




in front of a great Do not fear that I theories may wish to unfold groundbreaking I will avoid any noisy publicity but present the possibility of a circle inAmerica; new practice to a small circle of scholars in the humanities. (Iwould be very thankful would that I stress this to my brothers, as well, since they seem to fear is the case: like to jump into the stream of American life; the opposite I will come as an individual and bring my Archimedean point inmy satchel). in I have experienced In the lastweeks that the existence Florence, spent here if you could I

is justified. For the first time since the war (12 and a half years ago) of my method in the Kunsthistorisches could show at the hand of an example, Institut, how to an a turn a museum of into life document interpretation piece through speaking informed by cultural study (kulturwissenschaftliche Interpretation). Going back to discoveries Ipresented 8 draperies from Brussels from as social documents of the spiritual era the second a to mixed method, the night of St. Bartholomew, that led in France through so with and and did such force of literature, documents, images, combining consensus. Ielicited the most sympathetic conviction that, to my great satisfaction, than 30 years ago, half of the sixteenth century You will, of more

dear Edwin Seligman, interpret this account not as personal is farther from my mind, since Ido not believe at all in promotion; nothing nor wish to put poor me44 in the spotlight. To "merit and worthiness,"43 personal the contrary, Iclaim for myself the right, like any Italian match girl, to find a corner from which to sell my wares. resolve you showed my brother Paul,45 not regret it inmy case, either. regards to you, your dear wife and daughter, Ican at least promise

with the Ifyou will help me inmy struggle for ideal enlightenment (Aufkl?rung)
same unmovable that you will With best you

Your faithful friend, Aby Warburg46

43. 44. 45.

Quotation In English Allusion Reserve



in ink by Warburg.

The quote

is from Luther.

in the original. pp. inspired 131

the Federal

137). Seligman (1935), pp. 352-353. Encyclopaedia in ink by Warburg. added 46. Greetings

ideas on bank reform, which Raul Warburg's to Seligman's role in promoting The Warburgs Act (cf. Ron Chernow, [New York: Random House, 1993], in the last volume of the Paul Moritz the entry Warburg, himself authored

Stimuli: Aby Warburg

inAmerica again


V December Prof. A. Warburg Heilwigstrasse Hamburg 20, Germany 16, 192747

My dear Abie [sic]:

Iam not quite sure whether three weeks ago. At all events, interesting statement. We are still a little unclear encyclopaedia, us to decide. and or Iacknowledged receipt of your letter of two want to thank you for your very full and I

as to how to treat the subject of Art in our proposed Iam trying to get Roger Fry to come over from England to help

Iam afraid that it So far as your own point of view is concerned, would be a great array of illustrations, useless to try to do anything with the subject without use to We are, will be impracticable and I fear it illustrations in our encyclopaedia. however, still on the fence about it. As regards your own projected visit?I am inclined to believe that perhaps after all your brothers are right in advising you not to come. Life is very hectic here, in New York, and itmight perhaps prove to be a little too strenuous for especially I shall, however, be very glad to talk the matter over with Hall at an early you. opportunity. With kind regards to you and your good wife, I remain








191, Miscellaneous.




VI Hamburg, Mr. Edwin Seligman of the Social Encyclopaedia Fayerweather Columbia University New York My dear Edwin Seligman, Many thanks for your letter of December two-volume yesterday. To my work The Economics Hall January 2, 192848


16, and, above Selling49

all, for the beautiful I received

of Installment


you have read the essays I regret, Icannot gauge from your letter whether on Sassetti. If sent you, especially the facsimile from the Festchrift for Schmarsow you do not have the time to do so, please allow Mrs. Carry to read those few Ibelieve that you will then have a clearer image of what my pages more carefully. method can bring to sociology. We do not propose to address the entire field of artistic creation, but only some selected cases of applied art, such as the Sassetti Fortuna case. Since my approach is new, I should present it briefly to you in inmy library. But on my actual presence, to my lively person, as we discussed

regret, you seem no longer to count, because you have made the health concerns even me. Much as I of my brothers entirely your own, without listening to must however note in this case that it the caring love of my relatives, I appreciate since Iam very well aware of the dangers myself and feel iswholly exaggerated, to able face the "hectic" pace of New York life, and secondly, after totally consultation no reason not to risk with my doctor, Dr. Embden,50 see absolutely the trip to New York. I shall return to this issue "in due time."51 want to accomplish I know very well what I inAmerica without any need to get to present my into the limelight: first of all, to learn for myself, and, secondly, of cultural


York comes

in a few places inAmerica (New study (Kulturwissenschaft) into the picture, on a relative scale, only marginally). I will inform my not to in detail on this matter, moreover need do be afraid brothers more that I you shall come

too quickly.



travel before

fall 1928

in the best of

Since you take such a friendly interest inmy personal fate, allow me to inform you that Ihave behind me a very stressful period of study and travel to Italy, during in activities both as lecturer (I enclose a paper I successfully which engaged as Institut Do not member of the board of the Kunsthistorisches clipping)52 and

48. 49. 50. 51.

Papers, Box 52, Correspondence Seligman New York: Columbia UP, 1927. Heinrich Embden (1871-1941), Warburg's In English in the original. from Kunstchronik



personal Beilage

doctor. zur Zeitschrift f?r bildende Kunst 61

52. Offprint (1927-1928), pp. 97-98.

und Kunstliteratur.

Stimuli: Aby Warburg

inAmerica again


once over sixty, one no longer has the right to take into account forget that, one has left. anything but how to make the best for others of the vital force I let the trip to America be my personal Therefore, please, responsibility, which assume in all its import. With best wishes for the New Year and best regards to your wife, your daughter and yourself,

Faithfullyyours AbyWarburg
Roger Fry is only a connoisseur (Kunst-kenner)



last sentence


the signature


in ink in Warburg's



RES 48 AUTUMN 2005

January 19, 192854 Professor Aby Warburg 114 Heilwigstrasse Hamburg, Dear Aby: would say that I have Many thanks for your letter of January 2nd. In reply I on Sassetti. interest your monograph indeed read with much It interested me very


have not yet, however, been able to decide exactly how much attention give to the matter of Art. I had a dinner the other night attended by the most eminent artist philosophers [sic] in this part of the world, and we made some We progress. I note what


you say about your possible visit to the United States. Far be it from me to interfere in any way with what you may finally decide to do. Itgoes without we a if you do come. shall give you saying that hearty welcome

With kind regards Faithfullyyours






Box 52, Uncataloged




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