mnemosyne in Stankievech 2016

e. Probably the
most acclaimed of the panels are those which Warburg developed in close collaboration with his staff during the last years
of his life and from which he intended to create a sequential
picture atlas of human memory referred to as the Mnemosyne
Atlas. Again defying the classical boundaries of the disciplines, Warburg had appropriated visual material from the
archives of art history, natural philosophy, and science to
vividly evoke and articulate his thesis through the creation of

ropos objects in space (even
when those objects are dematerialized as reproductions),
become productive forerunners across a range of fields: from
art, through cultural studies and art history, to the curatorial.
Essential to Warburg’s library and Mnemosyne Atlas, but
not yet articulated explicitly, is that the practice of constructing two-dimensional, heterogeneous image clusters shifts the
value between an original work of art and its mechanical
reproduction, anticipating Walter Benjamin’s essay wri

he cosmos, was of the highest significance to Warburg as a recurring
theme. The etching is shown, for instance, as image 8 of Plate 58, “Kosmologie bei
Dürer” (Cosmology in Dürer); reproduced in Warnke, ed., Aby Moritz Warburg:
Der Bilderatlas Mnemosyne, Gesammelte Schriften, Vol. 1, 106–7. The connections


purchased, and which is on my bookshelf at home, but which
is not in my suitcase. Thus, the platform acts as a patch
for times when access to physical books is limited—although

org. It is important to realize

among text and image, visual display and publishing, the
expansive space of the library and the dense volume of the
book, Aby Warburg’s wide-ranging work appears to be best
summarized by the title of one of the Mnemosyne plates:
“Book Browsing as a Reading of the Universe.”56

To the Paper Museum
Warburg had already died before Benjamin theorized the
impact of mechanical reproduction on art in 1935. But it is
Malraux who claims to have embarked on a lengthy, mult

r’s Melancholia, are striking; see Anna-Sophie Springer’s visual essay
“Reading Rooms Reading Machines” on p. 91 of this book.
“Buchblättern als Lesen des Universums,” Plate 23a, reproduced in Warnke, Aby
Moritz Warburg: Der Bilderatlas Mnemosyne, Gesammelte Schriften, Vol. 1, 38–9.
The title of the English translation, The Museum Without Walls, by Stuart Gilbert
and Francis Price (London: Secker & Warburg, 1967), must be read in reference
to Erasmus’s envisioning of a “library without


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