Thursday, July 22, 2010
Save The Warburg Library.
I'm interrupting the usual FBC! drivel to point you out to this article published by the Art Newspaper (incidentally, the best art publication in the English language).
I'm not going to repeat poorly what the excellent writer explained: from who Warburg was to the crucial role his library plays in the constitution of art history as a living discipline (and not a tool to advance the power play between obtuse academics without any imagination beyond their personal career), and what danger lies thanks to the completely stupid administrators of London University.
You're going to tell me, its all very well and we get it, but what can we do? What you can do is use your old-fashioned paper and ink and write letters of support to the Warburg Institute and letters of disgust to the University of London. The current Chancellor is Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal (Princess Ann) and the Vice-Chancellor is Sir Graeme Davies. You could address them respectfully polite but scathing letters though this address.
Lastly, I suggest you abandon all that critical theory crap you've been spoon-fed in graduate school and have a look at Warburg's own writings, they have been translated in English through a GRI publication (own personal all-time favorite is the essay on International Astrology). I may add that a bit of Alois Riegl never hurts, ditto Julius von Schlosser, but that would require not being monolingual, dear US academics.
FBC! strongly suspects the University of London strategy is in fact designed to make the heirs of the Warburg family cough up some money, which, you know, is a dirty plot unworthy of a respectable institution devoted to Higher Learning. So disgraceful, there are no words. Please read the Art Newspaper article, and write in to support the Warburg Institute.