Creating Space and Collection Display in British Gothic Revival Houses (1740–1860)

In a house affecting not only obsolete architecture, but pretending to an observance of the costume even in the furniture, the mixture of modern portraits, and French porcelaine, and Greek and Roman sculpture, may seem heterogeneous. In truth, I did not mean to make my house so Gothic as to exclude convenience, and modern refinements in luxury . . . Would our ancestors, before the reformation of architecture, not have deposited in their gloomy castles antique statues and fine pictures, beautiful vases and ornamental china, if they had possessed them?1

A farther view succeeded; that of exhibiting specimens of Gothic architecture, as collected from standards in cathedrals and chapel-tombs, and showing how they may be applied to chimney pieces, cielings [sic], windows, ballustrades, loggias, &c. The general disuse of Gothic architecture, and the decay and alterations so frequently made in churches, give prints a chance of being the sole preservatives of that style.2

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  1. Horace Walpole, A Description of the Villa of Horace Walpole […] Middlesex (Strawberry Hill, 1784), p. iii–iv. []
  2. Ibid. p. i. []

Studies on Aby Warburg, Fritz Saxl, and Gertrud Bing

The Studies1 is a collection of articles I originally published in German, Italian and French as the first Archivist of the Warburg Institute, School of Advanced Study, University of London, turned into chapters. I catalogued the entire correspondence of Aby Warburg (1866–1929) held by the archive, some 37,000 letters and postcards dating from the 1880s to Warburg’s death in 1929.2 As an expert in German palaeography and in intellectual history, I set up a database of the Warburg Institute’s large archival holdings. Having worked on other large collections, notably the Gustav Klimt / Emilie Flöge correspondence, large holdings of records of Jewish sthetls, and Austrian archival material from Egypt, the collection in the Warburg Institute allowed for an in-depth examination and understanding of Aby Warburg, Director of the Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg in Hamburg and his two librarians, Fritz Saxl and Gertrud Bing. Saxl and Bing were instrumental in transferring the entire library to London in 1933, and became directors of the newly established Warburg Institute there and developing it into one of the world’s leading centres of intellectual history, Saxl until his death in 1946 and Bing from 1955 to 1959. In this new volume, which comprises seventeen chapters, I have translated and updated my work originally published as articles in various academic journals on the impact of these three extraordinary scholars.

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  1. Dorothea McEwan, Studies on Aby Warburg, Fritz Saxl, and Gertrud Bing (Abingdon, 2023). []
  2. Database of the Aby Warburg Correspondence in the Warburg Institute Archive (WIA), 37,845 English language abstracts, available online. []
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