Warburg Institute (2)

I have been reading with the utmost interest an article written by Adam Gopnik about the current issues surrounding the Warburg Institute (http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/03/16/in-the-memory-ward). He quotes liberally from a conversation held over our dinner table in the autumn. The thing which I had only half known was the extent to which Kenneth Clark was influenced by Aby Warburg. I knew that Clark had attended a lecture given by Aby Warburg at the Biblioteca Hertziana in Rome on 19 January 1929, because it is referred to (with the wrong year) in his autobiography. I knew that his book, The Nude, is very evidently influenced by Warburgian ideas. I also knew, which Gopnik does not refer to, that it was always said that, on his one and only visit to the Warburg, Clark was turned away because he did not have a reader’s ticket. What I did not know, and have never seen referred to, is that Clark gave the Slade Lectures in Oxford in 1961/2 on the subject of ‘Motives’, that these lectures still survive in the Tate archive where Gopnik was able to read them, and that they are, as one would expect from the title, an exposition of Warburgian beliefs.

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