The 75th anniversary of the Census of Antique Works of Art and Architecture Known in the Renaissance falls in 2021, and to mark the occasion a group of students at the Humboldt-Universität and the Warburg Institute have created an online exhibition, ‘75 Years, 1946–2021. From Index Cards to Online Database’.
Room 1 considers the pre-history of the Census, found in index cards created at the Warburg Institute in the 1940s by the art historians Ludwig Burchard and Alfred Scharf, and the first ideas for the Census described in letters exchanged in 1945 and 1946 between the art historian Richard Krautheimer at Vassar College and Fritz Saxl, Director of the Warburg Institute.
Room 2 examines the development of the Census through the transatlantic collaboration between Phyllis Bober in the USA and Ruth Rubinstein at the Photographic Collection of the Warburg Institute.
Room 3 includes quotations from letters written by Phyllis Bober in the early 1980s, when the digitalisation of the Census was just underway, exploring Bober’s reaction to technical change.
Room 4 is devoted to the history of the Census database and includes a time line of its development, leading up to its present form. Students in this group created several interactive visualisations to represent the current contents of the database.
As part of their collaboration the group was able to travel virtually to the Warburg Institute Photographic Collection and the Warburg Institute Archive. They visited the Special Collections of the Bryn Mawr library, where Phyllis Bober’s papers are held.
The creation of the 75th anniversary exhibition was a collaborative experiment, conducted online during the Coronavirus pandemic. In the face of this challenge, the students drew upon their unlimited resources of enthusiasm creativity, and know-how.
Berlin Collaborators (BA Students in Kunst- und Bildgeschichte at the HU)
Ariana Emilia Binzer
Agnete Bay Blichfeldt
Tim B. Boroewitsch
Leonie Viktoria Engel
Friedrich Severin Fetzer
Matteo Anthony Kramer
Anna Katharina Latzko
Maria Elisabeth Lehmann
Sarah Vivien Letzel
Xuan Tuan Pham
Lucy Ruth Salmon
Hannah Mascha Sommer
London Collaborators (MA Students at the Warburg Institute)
Emily La Vay