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Moving Memory: The Buildings of the Warburg Institute

Professor, Institute of Form, Theory and History, The Oslo School of Architecture and Design

Tim Ainsworth Anstey studied architecture at the University of Bath in England, graduating with a PhD in architectural history in 1999. His publications include, as editor, Architecture and Authorship (Black Dog, 2007) and Images of Egypt, edited together with Mari Lending and Eirik Bøhn (Pax, 2018). Recent essay contributions include ‘Movables’ in The Printed and the Built edited by Mari Hvattum and Anne Hultszch (Bloomsbury, 2018), ‘Serving Hatch’ in Extinct Objects, edited by Barbara Penner and Adrian Forty (Reaktion Books, forthcoming) and ‘Economies of the Interior: Thomas Hope and Interior Decoration’, in Grey Room (winter 2020).

When the Warburg Institute was transferred from Hamburg to London in 1933 its scholars were equipped with strong image-experiences of architectural design. This article tells the story of how continuity and memory were created through the Warburg Institute’s ensuing projects of architectural commissioning, addressing particularly the agency of one individual, Gertrud Bing, who as assistant librarian of the Warburg Institute participated in the design of its first building and who as Director oversaw the development of its last.

Nøkkelord: Kunsthistorie, arkitektur, Warburg, minne, re-inskripsjon, Hamburg, London

Warburg-instituttet flyttet fra Hamburg til London i 1933. Denne artikkelen forteller historien om hvordan kontinuitet og minne ble skapt gjennom Warburg-instituttet som byggherre i en rekke prosjekter. Særlig Gertrud Bings rolle blir undersøkt. Som assisterende bibliotekar deltok hun i utformingen av instituttets første bygning, og som direktør hadde hun ansvaret for utviklingen av den siste.

Keywords: Art History, Architecture, Warburg, Memory, Re-inscription, Hamburg, London
Ill. 1

Godfrey Samuel: Cottage for Dr. Saxl and Dr. Bing, plan and elevational drawing, 1934. Royal Institute of British Architects.

Dear Mr Samuel,

 

We are simply delighted with the new design. It is absolutely what we should like to have. Even our furniture will go into the house, and there will be space besides to store things …1

A typical early-stage client’s letter from a rather atypical client. The writer, Gertrud Bing, is reacting to a design from the architect Godfrey Samuel made in London during autumn 1934. A drawing of this ‘Proposed Cottage at Bromley for Dr. Saxl and Dr. Bing’ shows a neat modernist house intended for the slopes of Elstree Hill (ill. 1).2 The building has two storeys with two separate entrances, one labelled ‘Saxl’, the other labelled ‘Bing’. Inside, some ambiguity. Partly, the main functions are doubled, as if this is actually two houses – two kitchens, two bathrooms, two dining rooms, two ‘book rooms’. Partly they are shared as if it is one – a single maid’s room, a furnace room. Partly they are absent altogether – there are bedrooms for a ‘guest’, a ‘son’ and a ‘daughter’, but no mention of sleeping arrangements for the clients themselves. It is a curious double/single house, for two separate-but-not-separate people.

Dr. Bing is Gertrud Bing: 42 years old, German by birth, and Assistant Director of the Warburg Institute. Dr. Saxl is Fritz Saxl: 44 years old, Viennese by birth, director of the same Institute, and married with two children. The ‘our’ in Bing’s letter refers to the sum property of Bing and Saxl, and the letter forms part of a short correspondence for an abortive project to build a house (without Saxl’s wife) for a new life together. That new life has been articulated by frightening geopolitical events. The Warburg Institute has moved from Hamburg, its activities under threat in National Socialist Germany. Furniture, reprographic equipment and shelving have been crated and loaded onto steamers. Books have been transported to London under the pretext of an inter-library loan to the British National Library. Bing and Saxl have been together in England a little under a year, unpacking the library and re-establishing the Institute’s activities (ill. 2).3

Ill. 2

Fritz Saxl and Gertrud Bing. Unknown photographer, late 1920s. Warburg Institute Archive.

The project for a cottage at Bromley is the fourth of six architectural projects orchestrated around the Warburg Institute between 1922, when Saxl, as the de facto director of Warburg’s library in Hamburg, appointed Bing to the staff as assistant librarian, and 1959 when Bing retired as director in London. From the Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg, commissioned between 1924 and 1926, through an amazing scheme for a Hamburg Planetarium, completed in 1930, to the re-housing of the Warburg Library at Thames House in London in 1934; and from the cottage of 1934–35, through the sojourn of the Warburg at the Imperial Institute Buildings in Kensington after 1937, to various proposals for a new building developed with the University of London after 1943, architectural arrangement occupied the directors of the Warburg Institute continuously over a 35-year span.

This article addresses the paradoxical question of how continuity and memory were created through that process of constant architectural change. The library in Hamburg divided Warburg’s book collection over four floors, each identified with a major theme or ‘problem’, for the library’s research: ‘Bild’ (1st floor), ‘Orientierung’ (2nd floor), ‘Wort’ (3rd floor), and ‘Handlung’ (4th floor).4 The building that was finally constructed to house the Institute in London, completed in 1958, repeated that order: ‘Image’ (1st floor), ‘Word’ (2nd floor), ‘Orientation’ (3rd floor), and ‘Action’ (4th floor). In both buildings, an identity emerged between the spatial organisation of the building and the intellectual organisation of a set of ideas around cultural memory.5 My suggestion here will be that this formal relationship is part of a wider pattern, and that the scholars of the Warburg Institute ‘furnished’ their buildings with collections of familiar objects that moved from one to another. This transference also furnished them with particular nuances of meaning through the rituals of use in which these objects were implicated.

The Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg (KBW), 1924–1933

From floor to ceiling the walls were covered in books … the pantry became a stack room, heavy shelves were hanging dangerously over doors, in the hall, on the landings, in the drawing rooms of the family, everywhere books, books, books … .6

In 1923, with Aby Warburg ill, Fritz Saxl was asked to supervise the initial designs for a new building that would move the activities of Warburg’s library out of the confines of his home at 114 Heilwigstraße, onto a gap-site next door.7 Early in 1924 Saxl contacted a local architect, Felix Ascher, who drew up plans. While this project was necessary because of the library’s expansion, the drawings suggest that there was also a desire to re-inscribe aspects of the library ‘as found’. The project followed the sectional disposition of the big, suburban villa attached to it, and scholars were to work in the stack rooms, whose scale duplicated the ‘drawing rooms of the family next door’.8 Following Warburg’s return to Hamburg late in 1924 the scheme developed. Book-stacks were quarantined off from visiting readers and placed over four floors in a reinforced concrete bunker at the centre of the building; research was to be undertaken in a Lese- und Vortragssaal (reading and lecture room), projecting as a single-storey elliptical space into the garden.9

Ill. 3

Gertrud Bing: Note on KBW shelf organisation, level 1, c. 1926. Overlaid on Gerhard Langmaack, KBW, Plan level 1, 1925. Warburg Institute Archive.

The library was organised to resonate with the order of its container. In 1926, Warburg annotated the floors levels of the final architectural section: Kunst, Astrologie-Religion-Philosophie, Sprache-Geschichte, Krieg-Neuere Geschichte.10 By 1927, the final, elegant thematic series of Bild, Orientierung, Wort, Handlung, had been defined to describe the four levels of book stacks, the books themselves and the photographic collection.11 One might say that the crystalline intellectual structure of the library – its idea – emerged through matching a defined architectural organisation with a thematic and tentative order of problems. Gertrud Bing, who had the job of thinking through the nitty-gritty of what this process actually meant, left an acute sense of this evolution.12 She made small notes that listed out the subject sections of the library across its various divisions. Positioned over the building plans these reveal themselves as tracings – notations with which possible arrangements of intellectual order could rapidly be tested against the architecture.

The relationship between architecture and bibliographic order at the KBW was modulated also through various pieces of technology – an epidiascope in the reading room, a vacuum postal system, book lifts and conveyor belts. This mixture of biblio-architectural order and industrial technology created striking experiences. On completing the building Gerhard Langmaack, the architect, was commissioned to produce a photographic album recording the experience of its interiors.13 Front of house, the entrance hallway details a book lift and its associated telephone; the epidiascope dominates the reading room. Behind the scenes, an iron, spiral staircase ascends from reading room to book stacks (ill. 4); the low-ceilinged stack-rooms are presented first bare, emphasising a grid of Woolf, Netter and Jacobi ‘Lipman’ steel shelving, later occupied, esoteric volumes flanking narrow aisles.14

Ill. 4

From Gerhard Langmaack’s Presentation Album of the KBW, pl. 12, c. 1927. Warburg Institute Archive.

Gertrud Bing, as well as developing the notation system that linked individual books to places in the library, reported the magical effect of being inside these restricted-access rooms: ‘[T]he pleasure and charm of handling the books, opening them and ‘browsing’ as you pass along the aisles can never be replaced by a card index,’ she wrote later.15 What made this experience? The books themselves but also the architecture and its effects. The stack-rooms, accessible only to the staff, were lit by tube-based strip-lighting on the ceiling – ‘Beleuchtung durch Röhrenlampen’.16 Both the tubes and their switching gear, ‘Kettenzug in den Gängen’, or hanging cords in the aisles, are visible in photographs of the stack rooms. The Warburg Institute commissioned blinds at the windows to keep the spaces dark, thus Bing’s ‘browsing’ is likely to have been dependent on this lighting.17 In 1926 Röhrenlampen could only mean mercury vapour lamps, hard industrial fittings normally used in warehouses.18 Switching on that lighting must have been a magic moment. Mercury vapour took some time to achieve full illumination; the book titles would have emerged from twilight as the lamps gained their unworldly brilliance.

Thames House, 1934–1937

When the Warburg Institute was transferred to London in 1933, although the move happened under duress, its scholars had strong experiences of architectural design. While the architects they had worked with in Hamburg had been local, the Institute’s first building project in London brought it into direct contact with a more international design context. The architect appointed to design the interior that was to house the library was Godfrey Samuel, of the avant-garde practice Tecton, created in 1931 by a group of Architectural Association graduates together with the Russian émigré architect Berthold Lubetkin. Several Tectonites, including Samuel, were members of the Modern Architecture Research group (MARS), founded to represent British engagement at the Congrès Internationaux d’Architecture Moderne (CIAM) in 1933, and in their first years Tecton made a speciality in designing accommodation for exotic arrivals in London. At the same time as they were rehousing the Warburg Institute they were working on the iconic Penguin Pool at London Zoo.19

Although he did not stay with the group long and had a distinguished 1930s career of his own, Samuel was a founding member of Tecton.20 The Warburg commission probably came through family connections. His father, Sir Herbert Samuel was the first figure of British Jewry and previous High Commissioner for the British Mandate in Palestine. In October 1933 Samuel senior discussed the situation of the German Jews at dinner with Felix Warburg, Aby’s brother, in New York.21 Given Felix’ engagement and Samuel’s influence, it seems likely that the question of the library move came up.

The library was to be re-established on the ground floor of Thames House, a state-of-the-art office-building in Westminster.22 The plan that Samuel developed, tight and symmetrical, oriented the accommodation around a flexible–use space at the centre, serving both as a lecture- and a reading room (ill. 5). Warburg’s idea that the main space for scientific discovery should be identical with the main room for scientific dissemination, was reapplied.

Ill. 5

Tecton: Layout of the Warburg Institute at Thames House, London, 1934. Royal Institute of British Architects.

The first London manifestation of the Warburg Library was in many senses an aspirational re-inscription of a lost space. The tables and chairs readers occupied and, the surrounding built-in bookshelves, were all moved from Hamburg. In May 1934 the epidiascope projector was re-installed, exactly on axis as it had been there. To support it the Warburg Institute commissioned a bespoke rostrum in oak, stained to match the transported shelving, and curved like the back wall of the original reading room.23 The book stacks were also transported. Encountered on a single level, they were divided into four sections in a slight variation from the order adopted in Hamburg.24 An English metalworks, G.A. Harvey & Co, were commissioned to produce copies of the German steel shelving to extend the shelf run. There was a dispute when it became obvious that Harvey & Co intended to produce the supplementary units in three feet rather than one metre modules. A po-faced letter from their manager to Saxl, refers to ‘your recent information that the bays will now be 39.37079 inches wide’.25 These Warburg art historians were capable of specifying furniture dimensions and architectural positioning to five decimal places in order to maintain the system of order they had created.

Ill. 6

Reading Room, Warburg Institute, Thames House, London. Unknown photographer, between 1934 and 1937. Warburg Institute Archive.

As at the KBW the reading room at Thames House was located on a ground floor, lit by five bays in the façade; as in Hamburg a large amount of sky was visible. In one sense, to sit here was to sit again in the atmosphere of a building lost. But even as it re-inscribed lost interiors Thames House created new sets of impressions. The reading room looked directly out over a London side street, opposite Stephen Courtauld’s London Ice Club on one side (an early 1930s society magnet) and the building site for a new office development on the other.26 Looking up from a text on early Coptic sculpture (say), a reader might be confronted with a moving advertisement on the side builders’ van, or the glowing yellow sign indicating a taxi was for hire (introduced in 1934). There was something new and potent here, as there must have been in the contrast between the bright, timber-lined reading room and that dimmer space of book-stacks, with their raw industrial lighting and their view into a white tiled, sanitary light-well, behind. In London the books were laid out in full view, and the ‘browsing’ Bing had been so enchanted by in Hamburg became the use-principle of the library. Timber-panelled ‘front-of-house’ and the hard, industrial ‘back-of-house’ were now set in a direct visual juxtaposition. This confrontation was recorded in photography, and presented through publication, in this case as the first image in the account of the project that Gertrud Bing published in the Library Association Record in 1934.27

Imperial Institute Buildings, 1937–1959

The Warburg Institute occupied these new premises at Thames House for only three years. By 1936 discussions were in train that led to the removal of the library to the Imperial Institute Buildings in South Kensington. There the Warburg stayed until 1958. Its rooms formed the context for Francis Yates’ investigations into the relations between architecture, memory and the organisation of knowledge, published later in Giordano Bruno & the Hermetic Tradition (1961) and The Art of Memory (1965).28 And they were the locus from which Fritz Saxl, Henri Frankfort and Gertrud Bing, as successive directors of the Institute, worked with the University of London on plans for a new building after 1944.29

Ill. 7

W. Cox & Partners: Warburg Institute, Imperial Institute Buildings, plan, 1937. Warburg Institute Archive.

The encounter with the Imperial Institute put the Warburg Library into juxtaposition with a third, phantasmagorical, architecture. Where Thames House had offered the open-plan floor-plate of a modern office-building, the premises at the Imperial Institute consisted of a suite of heavily moulded, double-height rooms within a stylistically eclectic building with monstrous flying stone staircases and monumental corridors. At first, at least, the entire contents of the library could be swallowed by the peripheral shelving these rooms provided, meaning that its other functions could be located in and among the books. Gertud Bing, describing the arrangement, was emphatic that the problem of image was central to the library’s activities. This section, now titled ‘Art and Archaeology’, surrounded scholars working in the main reading room, which occupied the second, and largest space in the enfilade sequence. ‘Language and Literature’ occupied the walls around the third and fourth rooms, whose centres were occupied by the photographic collection, overseen by Rudolf Wittkower, and by Anthony Blunt, editor of the combined Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes. The final double-height room in the sequence was given over to ‘Religion, Natural Science and Philosophy’ and the mezzanine of the very first to the ‘History of Social Forms’. Thus the order of sections adopted at Thames House had been reversed.30

The superimposition of functions that this initial arrangement created was to be short lived. The library was growing. The central areas of the various rooms began to be given over to free-standing book stacks and in 1951 the Warburg was given more space, taking over the suite of enfilade rooms directly above those it already occupied on the ground floor.31 The arrangement that resulted can be viewed as nightmarish or inspirational. For one young scholar in the Institute, Sydney Anglo, it created a jack-in-the-box quality of unexpectedness. The staff were grouped in a ‘bizarre atrium, set all around with office doors from which world-famous scholars would pop out and in again – like an apotheosized cuckoo-clock’.32 The same quality of imminent surprise was created by the staircase that the Institute had constructed to connect the spaces on the ground and first floor. It rose incongruously out of the room previously occupied by Anthony Blunt and arrived in the middle of a new reading room above, through a hole cut in the floor. As Anglo recalled: ‘it was an especial treat, when seated there, to hear climbing footsteps of some approaching scholar, to try to guess who it was, and to watch a learned head rising up through the opening in the floor.’33 The organisation put the unfamiliar into very intimate juxtaposition with the familiar.

Ill. 8

Stack room 2 ‘Fine Arts’, Imperial Institute Buildings, Kensingon. Unknown photographer, c. 1952. Warburg Institute Archive.

This same quality of violent juxtaposition is evident also in the photographic record of the building made following its expansion in 1952. The first floor Reading Room seems chaotic, its central staircase clearly visible. On the lower level the juxtaposition between the industrial and the gentlemanly, implicit at the KBW and explicit at Thames House, was compressed brutally. Metal shelving filled the rooms entirely, surrounded by gothicky timber linings and mezzanine balconies carried on faux-timber consoles.34 But although visually jarring, this reorganisation re-established the idea that the library consisted of four interdisciplinary bunkers of books disposed across four main spaces. The major sections remained those on the image (Art and Archaeology, Room 2) and on orientation (Religion, Natural Science and Philosophy, Rooms 4–5); the smaller those on Social and Political Life (Room 1) and Language and Literature (Room 3).35 In this guise the library regained some of its sense of being a re-combinatory machine set up in an opulent architectural frame.

Woburn Square, 1945–1959

How then, were ideas about a new Warburg building gestated within the hallucinatory spaces of the Imperial Institute? The proposal for a new building was made as part of the master plan developed by Charles Holden for London University.36 Initially the Warburg was to form part of a low bi-institutional building with the Courtauld Institute of Art, the one institute housed above the other. Events in the early 1950s challenged this arrangement and by 1954 a new scheme was in place, that positioned the Warburg Institute alone on its current corner-site terminating the vista along Torrington Place. The library was to be spread over four floors above the reading room as it had been in Hamburg. Gertrud Bing took over the role of client representative for the project in March 1954 and by August a final footprint was established.37

During this process, the appearance and organisation of the new building was conceived of in very different terms by the various actors involved. For the University and its architect, a combined Courtauld and Warburg building ‘should … conform in spirit to that of its parent institution, the Fogg Museum of Art at Harvard University’; that is, it should be low, neoclassical and built in brick.38 For Saxl, it projected memory into the future, perhaps with four levels as in Hamburg and ‘a small winding staircase […] from the reading room to the stack rooms’.39 Henri Frankfort, who succeeded Saxl as director, was committed to organising its library horizontally.40 Gertrud Bing sought a very different architectural mindset from that on offer from the elderly Holden; a friend suggested younger London practices in response: young, cutting edge, with ‘enough of a flexible continental mind to see what you really need’.41

Whatever these disparate ideas about form and appearance, in the end the arrangement chosen had resonances with several of the institute’s former homes. Mnemosyne was to be written over the door as it had been in Hamburg.42 There was something of the KBW’s Lese- und Vortragssaal in the classicising fenestration and modular bays of the lecture room proposed at Woburn Square, with its quiet view of leafy gardens and a distant terrace beyond. And the arrangement that Bing approved in 1954, which situated the Reading Room like a lighthouse, facing London’s bustle up Torrington Place, repeated the dramatic juxtaposition created at Thames House, where readers looked directly into the street.

Just as revealing about the way in which the Warburg scholars furnished their new home with memories of the old are the resonances between the stack rooms at Woburn Place and those of their Hamburg ancestor. The rooms in London were low in height and filled with stove enamel metal shelving lit by fluorescent tubes along the aisles between them. Drop-cords were positioned in a special arrangement directly over the ends of each book-stack, the cord threaded through a metal bracket that carried signage identifying the class marks to be found in each section. Retrieving a book at the Warburg was a distinctive, gestural experience. One entered the stack-room; one located the sub-heading at a distance and the class mark close-to at the end of the stacks; one raised a hand to pull the drop-cord; one extracted the book. A 1956 technical ‘Diagram showing the arrangement of light fittings and switching locations’, reveals how much thought went in to this.43 On the right hand side is an axonometric view showing the disposition of the book stacks, the lighting cords and the signage, including the system of class marks for locating the books. This last was not strictly of interest for the electricians, but it was of such burning importance to at least one person involved in the process that it had to be included. The positioning of electrical conduit, the organisation of class marks for the library, and the haptic experience of a user of the locating a work on the shelves are here connected.

Ill. 9

Adams, Holden and Pearson: Layout diagram of lighting points and switch positions, Warburg Institute, detail, 1956. Warburg Institute Archive.

Whose mind conceived this eccentric system? The architects were not necessarily the primary movers. Gertrud Bing’s opinion of them did not shift very much during the years of commissioning the building.

…the architect has neither taste nor is he able to think through architectural problems and the problems of the institution. As far as I can, I try to forestall the biggest mistakes, but what you cannot foresee happens. I do everything I have to do – and that is a lot and tedious – against a background of profound skepticism.44

It seems as likely that the sophistication of the final building is a result of Gertrud Bing’s ‘what I have to do … against a background of profound scepticism’. Who else on the client and design team would have been so attentive to the relation between spatial experience and library organisation during the final design of the project in the 1950s? The experience described on a technical drawing for the Warburg Institute in 1955 re-iterated something discovered in the low-ceilinged stack rooms of the KBW in Hamburg, with their Röhrenlampen, and their hanging Kettenzugen, thirty years before. At the KBW, Bing had found a ‘pleasure and charm [in] handling the books, opening them and ‘browsing’ as you pass along the aisles’ among steel shelving illuminated by ‘fluorescent tubes, strung together directly on the ceiling between the stacks’ with ‘operation by drop cords in the aisles’.

Ill. 10

From Gerhard Langmaack’s Presentation Album of the KBW, Pl. 25, Stack room, c. 1927. Warburg Institute Archive.

Conclusion

In her 1934 letter to Godfrey Samuel about the abortive Elstree Hill Cottage, Gertrud Bing was concerned with furniture, with the familiar chattels that moved and provided foundations for patterns of a life transposed. This same minute concern emerged also in the move from the Imperial Institute to Woburn Square during 1957–58. Schedules were made of the furniture that could be saved.45 Instructions were issued about re-staining individual card catalogue drawers to make sure they matched the new settings.46 Architectural projects always involve painstaking attention to detail; but few clients enter into that detail as Bing appears to have done. The final result of her care was a new library that seems, immediately, to have had a lived-in quality. One where new rituals of use rapidly took on a habitual feel: ‘… even I am beginning to think that we shall be quite happy once routine comes into its own again and the Institute is being used in the normal way. The library is certainly very well provided for, spacious, well-lit, and in a short time it will be also well sign-posted.’47 The rotational journey of searching, from Reading Room catalogue to stack-room signage, and from stack-room signage to light-switch, to shelf and back to Reading Room, made for a powerful, haptic experiential pattern. As much as anything, perhaps, this re-inscription of the everyday sustained the Warburg Institute’s enduring investigation into the cultural significance of the past.

1Gertud Bing to Godfrey Samuel, 10 December 1934, Godfrey Samuel Papers, Series 2: Projects undertaken by Samuel, 1933–1938, RIBA Drawings Collection.
2London (Bromley): Elstree Hill, Lewisham, designs for a house for Dr Saxl & Dr Bing, ca. 1934 [PA112/1(1-4)], Tecton Drawings, RIBA Drawings collection.
3Eric M. Warburg, ‘The transfer of the Institute to England,’ appendix to the Warburg Institute Annual Report 1952–53; Elizabeth Sears, ‘The Warburg Institute, 1933–1944. A precarious experiment in international collaboration,’ Art Libraries Journal 38, no. 4 (2013): 7–15.
4Tilman von Stockhausen, Die Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg (Hamburg: Dölling und Galitz, 1992), 81–90.
5Claudia Wedepohl, ‘Mnemonics, Mneme and Mnemosyne: Aby Warburg’s theory of memory,’ Bruniana & Campelliana 20, no. 2 (2014): 385–402; Carlo Ginzburg, ‘Une machine à pensée’, Common Knowledge: The Warburg Institute 18, no. 1 (Winter 2012): 79–85.
6Fritz Saxl, ‘The history of Warburg’s library (1886–1944)’, appendix to E. H. Gombrich, Aby Warburg: an intellectual biography (London: Warburg Institute, 1970), 332.
7Stockhausen, Die Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg, 42–52.
8Felix Ascher, Bibliothek Warburg, plans and section, 1924, I.3.1, Warburg Institute Archive (WIA).
9Stockhausen, Die Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg, 42–52.
10Gerhard Langmaack, KBW, longitudinal section, autograph annotations by Aby Warburg, c. 1926, I.4.8.1, WIA.
11Stockhausen, Die Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg, 192–201; Katia Mazzucco, ‘Images on the move. Some notes on the Bibliothek Warburg Bildsammlung (Hamburg) and the Warburg Institute Photographic Collection (London),’ Art Libraries Journal 38, no. 4 (2013): 16–24.
12Gertrud Bing, Autograph notes on positioning of library subject headings, c. 1926, I.4.17, WIA.
13Gerhard Langmaack, Presentation Album, KBW, 1926, 1.4.20.3, W1A.
14‘Projektplan Gerhard Langmaack. Neubau Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg, Hamburg’, section 5, Die technischen Einzelheiten, part o., transcribed in Stockhausen, Die Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg, 141–143. On Wolf, Netter & Jacobi see Regale aus Stahle, undated product catalogue, c. 1925, Wolf Netter & Jacobi Collection, AR7212, box 1/1, The Leo Baecke Institute Centre for Jewish History, New York.
15Gertrud Bing, ‘The Warburg Institute,Library Association Record 35, no. 4 (August 1934): 266. See also entry by Bing, 29 April 1927, Tagebuch der Kulturwissenschaftlichen Bibliothek Warburg, vol. 2, 123: ‘Ich würde Heinz Brauer deshalb den Besuch der Magazine nicht verwehren, weil bei seiner eigenwilligen Arbeitsmethode die «Entdeckungsreisen» in d. B.W. soviel wert sind. Er hat in den letzten Wochen wichtige und ihn selbst sehr beglückende Funde gemacht durch dieses «browsing”’. She attributes the term ‘browsing’ to an American researcher, Gladys Reichard.
16‘Projektplan Gerhard Langmaack’, Section 5, part o: ‘Büchergestelle in den Magazinen nach System Wolf, Netter & Jakobi. Beleuchtung durch Röhrenlampen, aneinandergereiht direkt an der Decke zwischen den Gestellen. Betätigung durch Kettenzug in den Gängen.’
17Entry by Gertrud Bing, March 14, 1927, Tagebuch Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg vol. 2, 73. «Ich bestelle für die Magazine Lichtgardinen, da Signaturen und Einbände der am Fenster stehenden Bücher ganz entsetzlich unter der Sonne leiden. Kostet leider 100 M, ist aber ganz dringend erforderlich.»
18Arthur Aaron Bright, The electric-lamp industry. Technological change and economic development from 1800 to 1947 (New York: Macmillan, 1949) 386–387.
19John Allan, Berthold Lubetkin. Architecture and the Tradition of Progress (London: RIBA Publications, 1992), 110, 202. For drawings of the Warburg Institute see RIBA Drawings Collection SaG/2/1/67.
20Amongst other work, a house for the art historian Ellis Waterhouse, Overshot Hall, Oxfordshire, with Valentine Harding, completed in 1938.
21Telegram from Felix Warburg to Herbert Samuel, 17 September 1933, box 293/18, Manuscript Collection 457, Felix M. Warburg Papers, Jacob Rader Marcus Centre of the American Jewish Archives. Samuel was hosted by Warburg at an official dinner at the Harmonic Club 3 October 1933, see Jewish Telegraphic Agency bulletin, 2 October, 1933.
22Sears, ‘The Warburg Institute’, 8.
23Tecton, ‘Design for layout of library and working drawings for lantern stand, plans & details,’ RIBA Drawings collection.
24Bing, ‘The Warburg Institute,’ 265.
25Letter from G.A. Harvey & Co. (London) to Fritz Saxl, January 6, 1934. RIBA Drawings collection. Godfrey Samuel Papers, Series 2: Projects undertaken by Samuel, 1933–1938.
26The London Ice Club opened 14 January 1927, financed and commissioned by Stephen and Jack Courtauld, brothers of Samuel Courtauld, see ‘Millionaire’s Ice Rink’, Canberra Times, 17 March, 1927. The adjacent office development at Cleland House, designed by T.P. Bennetts architects, was completed in 1938.
27Bing, The Warburg Institute, 263.
28Frances A. Yates, Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1964); idem., The Art of Memory (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1966).
29Fritz Saxl was Director of the Warburg Institute until his death in 1948, Henri Frankfort from 1948 until 1954, and Gertrud Bing from 1954 until 1959.
30Warburg Institute Annual Report 1937–38 containing Gertrud Bing’s description of the arrangement of the Warburg Library in the Imperial Institute buildings, dated 16 February 1938, Ia.2.5, WIA. (I am indebted to Elizabeth Sears for identifying this source.)
31Warburg Institute Annual Report 1949–50, November 1950, 1–2.
32Sydney Anglo, ‘From South Kensington to Bloomsbury and beyond’, in Vorträge aus dem Warburg-Haus. The Afterlife of the Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg, eds., Uwe Fleckner and Peter Mack (Hamburg: De Gruyter, 2015), 66.
33Anglo, ‘From South Kensington to Bloomsbury’, 65.
34Anglo, ‘From South Kensington to Bloomsbury’, 68. ‘An immensely tall room … with metal walkways all around, each level reached by spiral iron staircases’.
35Warburg Institute Annual Report 1951–52, November 1952, 1.
36Richard Simpson, ‘Classicism and Modernity. The University of London’s Senate House,’ Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies 43 (1999), 53–61; Eitan Karol, Charles Holden, Architect (Donnington, Lincolnshire: Shaun Tyas, 2007).
37A developed scheme for the Warburg and Courtauld Institute located at the corner of Torrington Place and Gordon Square and Woburn Square, requested by the Principal of the University at a Building Sub-Committee meeting on February 8, 1954 was exhibited at the Imperial Institute Buildings after March 1954. Revised drawings of the Warburg Institute only, with a reduced footprint, were presented at a Building Sub-Committee meeting on 12 August 1954. The detailed scheme-design was finalised by June 1955. Minutes of the Building Sub-Committee, I.7.3, WIA.
38‘Memorandum for the Building Sub-Committee – New Courtauld – Warburg Building,’ undated copy, almost certainly from 1945, I.7.1.2, WIA.
39Fritz Saxl, ‘Needs of the Warburg Institute in connection with the projected new building for the Courtauld and Warburg Institutes,’ 22 June 1945, I.7.1.1, WIA.
40Henri Frankfort, ‘Revised Schedule of Accommodation for the Warburg Institute’, 16 June 1953, I.7.1.1, WIA; ‘I have set out how I have reached a total of approximately 17,000 square feet, required for placing the library, as we wish it, undivided on one floor …’ I.7.1.1 WIA.
41W. Fankl to Gertrud Bing, 15 March 1953, General Correspondence (GC), WIA.
42Stockhausen, Die Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg, 58; Kenneth Urquhart, Adam Holden & Pearson to Gertrud Bing, 17 December 1957, GC, WIA.
43Adams Holden & Pearson, Warburg Institute, University of London, drawing no. LU7588, September 1956, I.7.1.3, WIA.
44Gertrud Bing to Walter Solmitz, 4 December 1957, GC, WIA: ‘Aber der Architekt hat weder Geschmack noch ist er im Stande architektonische Probleme und Probleme der Einrichtung wirklich durchzudenken. Soweit ich sie voraussehen kann versuche ich den grössten Fehlern zuvorzukommen, aber was man nicht voraussehen kann passiert eben. Und ich tue alles was ich zu tun habe – und das ist viel und mühsam – auf dem Hintergrund einer profunden Skepsis’. I am indebted to Elizabeth Sears for this reference.
45Adams Holden & Pearson, Warburg Institute, University of London, Schedule B, Existing furniture to be re-used in the new building [1957], I.7.7.2, WIA.
46Gertrud Bing to Kenneth Urquhart, Adams Holden & Pearson, 18 March 1958, GC, WIA. I am indebted to Elizabeth Sears for this transcription.
47Gertrud Bing to Raymond Klibansky, 25 April 25 1958. A: Klibansky, XX-XXI, 1, Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach. I am indebted to Elizabeth Sears for this reference.

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