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»Schwierigkeiten« an der Bibliothek Warburg 1920 bis 1922: Fritz Saxls Habilitationsverfahren an der Universität Hamburg

Karin Hellwig

Published online:

11 Jul 2019



By 1918, the very existence of the Warburg Library was endangered due to Aby Warburg’s serious illness. His family recruited the Viennese Fritz Saxl to come to Hamburg as acting director of the library. Starting in April 1920, Saxl, who had already worked with Warburg before the outbreak of the First World War, developed a comprehensive reform program to transform what was originally a private scholar’s library into a public research institute. One initiative was the pursuit of his habilitation in the spring and summer of 1922 with the goal of academic teaching and thereby creating a close link between the library and the newly founded Kunsthistorisches Seminar of the University of Hamburg. The reconstruction of the hitherto neglected habilitation procedure – and the difficulties that Saxl encountered – is based on newly discovered documents and sheds new light on the process of institutionalization of the Warburg Library between 1920 and 1922.

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Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte Issues

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