Lightning Symbol and Snake Dance: Aby Warburg and Pueblo Art (Hardcover)
The first presentation of Aby Warburg's rarely seen Pueblo art collection, from his famous 1895-96 visit to the US
In 1895, the great German art historian and theorist Aby Warburg (1866-1929) came to the US, where he spent the bulk of his time meeting with Indigenous Americans. The encounter produced two famous works: his 1923 lecture on the Hopi snake ritual, and a body of photographs--both of them much discussed by art historians. Almost unknown until now, however, was the collection of objects he acquired from Pueblo tribes throughout the American Southwest, which he later donated to the Museum fur V lkerkunde (today the Museum am Rothenbaum) in Hamburg.
Following Warburg's transdisciplinary approach, this substantial publication examines his guiding principles in assembling his collection, as well as his reading of Pueblo art and culture. The fascination of the Hopi snake ritual among Warburg's contemporaries is highlighted, as is the reception history of the text. Also represented here are the views and strategies of Hopi officials, which have previously been neglected in this context, to regain cultural sovereignty.