Lightning Symbol and Snake Dance

Aby Warburg and Pueblo Art



ISBN: 9783775752022 Category:


The legacy of the art and cultural scientist Aby Warburg offers many subjects for reassessment. Almost unknown until now are the artifacts he collected on a journey through the southwest of the US in 1895/96 and donated to the Museum für Völkerkunde in Hamburg (today Museum am Rothenbaum). The results first unfolded in Warburg’s famous lecture on the “snake ritual” of the Hopi (1923). Following Warburg’s transdisciplinary approach, this publication examines his guiding principles in assembling his collection as well as his reading of Pueblo art and culture. It pays tribute to the works and their artistic significance and sheds light on the circumstances of acquisition in the sociopolitical environment of the Pueblo communities of the time. The contemporary fascination with the snake ritual is also a topic. Set against this are the previously neglected perspectives and strategies of Pueblo leaders to regain interpretive sovereignty over culturally sensitive content and imagery.

Additional information

Weight 1818 g
Dimensions 23.1 x 30 cm
Publisher name Hatje Cantz Verlag
Publication date 16 June 2022
Number of pages 400
Format Hardback
Contributors Text by Bruce Bernstein, Adam Duran, Lindsey Drury, Rainer Hatoum, Kelley Hays-Gilpin, Lea McChesney, Nancy J. Parezo, Barbara Plankensteiner, Justin Richland, Erhard Schüttpelz, Sascha T. Scott, Bill Sherman, and Matthew Vollgraff
Dimensions 23.1 x 30 cm
Weight 1818 g


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ABY WARBURG (1866-1929) is considered as the founder of a modern art history oriented towards cultural studies. His research was mainly concerned with the investigation of the afterlife of antiquity in the Renaissance, which he recorded in his iconic Bilderatlas Mnemosyne.