Skip to main content

Warburg Renaissance project to be supported by Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung


London/Hamburg, 4 April 2019 – In an important step towards the redevelopment of the Warburg Institute building on Woburn Square, the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung provided a generous lead donation of £1m for the visionary Warburg Renaissance project. 

Warburg Institute Architects Impression

The extensive plans for the redevelopment of the Warburg Institute will revive and extend Aby Warburg’s vision to shape the future of cultural memory and complete architect Charles Holden’s unfinished 1950s building in the heart of Bloomsbury. 

The donation from the Hamburg foundation is a significant first step towards the fundraising target for the Institute, as well as the University of London and the Warburg Charitable Trust. Professor Bill Sherman, Director of the Warburg Institute, believes it can be the catalyst for the Institute’s ambitious development plans:

The gift will not only help us to reimagine the Warburg Institute in London for the next generation, but it will reconnect us with our roots in Hamburg at a time when Anglo-German partnerships are more important than ever.

The large-scale project aims to create new spaces and programmes, which will allow the Institute to: 

•    Offer its expertise to new audiences; 
•    Host artists, curators, writers and translators in residence; 
•    Serve as a laboratory for experimental exhibitions; 
•    Provide a haven for exiled, itinerant and visiting scholars; and 
•    Connect with leaders in digital technology to share collections and explore the ways in which Aby Warburg anticipated the Digital Age.

The donation was announced by the Warburg Charitable Trust at a special event on 27 March that welcomed members of the extended Warburg family as well as esteemed guests and supporters to the Institute. The occasion was the biggest gathering of the family since the early 1990s with 26 members of the Warburg family from six different countries in attendance. The historic moment for the Institute coincided with the launch of the Warburg Family Circle in support of the Warburg Renaissance. 

Bernhard Reemtsma, chairman of the Hermann Reemtsma Foundation, is excited about the potential of the Warburg Renaissance to build on Aby Warburg’s vision, commenting: 

Aby Warburg’s legacy is much more than memory. It is vitally alive and we can still learn from his ideas. The Warburg Institute connects Warburg’s intuitive cognition to our present and future.

The next two years will see the Warburg Institute and the Warburg Charitable Trust increase development efforts to secure the support needed to deliver the ambitious programme. To find out more about the project, and how you can support it, please visit: