Warburg Models

The Architecture of the Itinerant Archive
36 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3ES Map
Mon–Sat 11 am–7 pm

Architecture and interiors were crucial for Aby Warburg’s interrogation of culture. Between 1923 and 1958, designs were commissioned for buildings, interiors, and exhibitions, as the Warburg Library and Institute moved through a series of homes, first in Hamburg and then in London. This exhibition, an itinerant archive of models and drawings that portray the seven different spaces the Warburg Institute has occupied, sheds new light on Warburg’s involvement with architecture.

Developed out of an elective Masters seminar at AHO, the Oslo School of Architecture and Design, by Tim Anstey and Mari Lending and first shown in Norway in 2021, the exhibition traveled to Warburg-Haus, Hamburg, in November 2023 to be exhibited in the rooms that were originally inhabited by the library. 90 years after the emigration of the Warburg library to England in 1933, the exhibition recreated the historic journey from Hamburg to London to be exhibited ‘in-transit’ at Judith Clark Studio in December 2023.
In the fourth iteration of the exhibition in the AA Gallery, ‘Warburg Models’ refers not only to architectural models as material representations of buildings that contained images, ideas and knowledge; but also refers to the frameworks of education and knowledge-making that remain one of Warburg’s most influential legacies.

Here, the travelling exhibition is set in conversation with the collection of AA lantern slides, another weighty but itinerant archive that many drew from to construct their lectures, research themes and very particular interests in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This strand of the exhibition was developed from an AA x Warburg Open Seminar that studied the affinities between the two independent educational institutions, and the ways knowledge is ordered within our archives to rethink the interaction between ideas, buildings and society. 500 yards away in Senate House, where some of the Warburg Institute is temporarily housed during the Warburg Renaissance construction project at Woburn Square, a related and simultaneous exhibition of Charles Holden’s Masterplan celebrates the architect’s vision of what a modern university could.

January 18, 2024, 6:30 p.m