Graphical version

Warburg Institute

KURZ, Otto (1908-1975)


Reference code(s): GB 1370 WIA, Otto Kurz

Held at: Warburg Institute

Title: KURZ, Otto (1908-1975)

Date(s): c 1930-1975

Level of description: collection

Extent: 30 boxes

Name of creator(s): Kurz | Otto | 1908-1975 | art historian and librarian


Administrative/Biographical history:

Otto Kurz was born in Vienna, 1908 and studied Art History at the University there. He was a Research Assistant at the Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg in Hamburg and the Warburg Institute in London (1933-1943), and subsequently Assistant Librarian (1943-1949) and Librarian (1949-1965) of the Institute, before becoming the Institute's Professor of the History of Classical Tradition (1966-1975). He was also a visting scholar at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem (1964) and Slade Professor of Fine Art at Oxford University (1970-1971). He married Hilde Schüller in 1937. Died 1975.


Scope and content/abstract:

Notes, working papers and correspondence of the art historian Otto Kurz, c 1930-1975. Topics covered include: the Baroque, notably the painters Guido Reni, Carracci; faked art; critical edition of Marco Polo's 'Description of the World'; Christian manuscripts; 'Die Legende vom Künstler' (Historiography); astrological manuscripts; Eastern astrology; cultural history of material goods; costume and Jewish Art.


Language/scripts of material: English and German

System of arrangement:

Arranged in sections as follows: Notes, Working Papers and Correspondence.

Conditions governing access:

Archive material is accessible for the purpose of private study and personal research and within the supervised environment and restrictions of the Archive reading room. Access is with permission from the Institute Director and by prior appointment only. Potential users are advised to browse the Institute website and contact the Archivist, Dr des Claudia Wedepohl, before planning a visit. Access to individual items in the Warburg Institute Archives may be restricted under the Data Protection Act or the Freedom of Information Act.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopies, at the discretion of the archivist, may be provided for research use only (working papers: up to 10% of any archive pressmark; correspondence by authors for whom the department doesn't hold copyright: up to 10% of the institutes holdings). Traditional photography is allowed at the discretion of the archivist, no digital cameras. Scans and digital photographs can be ordered at the discretion of the archivist. Requests to publish original material have to be submitted to the Archivist.

Physical characteristics:

Finding aids:

Collection level description available on-line at the University of London Research Services website


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Received from the family, 1975.


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

Publication note:



Archivist's note: Entry compiled by Sarah Drewery.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: Apr 2008

Art history | Art theory | Arts
Christianity | Ancient religions | Religions
Cultural history | Culture
Fashion | Customs and traditions | Cultural heritage
Geographical exploration | Geography
Manuscripts | Documents | Information sources
Painting | Fine arts
Spiritualism | Mysticism

Personal names
Kurz | Otto | 1908-1975 | art historian and librarian
Polo | Marco | 1254-1324 | traveller
Reni | Guido | 1575-1642 | Italian painter

Corporate names