Edgar Wind (14 May 1900 – 12 September 1971) was a German-born British interdisciplinary art historian, specializing in iconology in the Renaissance era. He was a member of the school of art historians associated with Aby Warburg and the Warburg Institute as well as the first Professor of art history at Oxford University. He is most well known for his research in allegory and the use of pagan mythology during the 15th and 16th centuries, and for his book on the subject, Pagan Mysteries of the Renaissance.Wind was born in Berlin, Germany. He received a thorough training in mathematics and philosophical studies, both at his Gymnasium in Charlottenburg, and then at university in Berlin, Freiburg, and Vienna. He completed his dissertation in Hamburg, where he was Erwin Panofsky's first student. He left to teach briefly in the US for financial reasons (he had a two-year appointment at the University of North Carolina from 1925–27), but then returned to Hamburg as a research assistant. It was there that he got to know Aby Warburg, and was instrumental in moving the Warburg Library out of Germany to London during the Nazi period. Warburg's influence on Wind's own methods was significant.
Once in London, Wind taught and became involved with the Warburg Institute, helping found the important Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institute in 1937. During the war he returned to the US and held several teaching positions, at New York University, University of Chicago, and Smith College. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1950.
Finally, in 1955 Wind went back to England and became Oxford University's first professor of art history, a position he maintained until his retirement in 1967. He died in London. There is now a reading room in Oxford's new Sackler Library dedicated to him, where his works are stored. Wind, although considered a classicist and Renaissance expert, staunchly defended modern art, unlike many of his colleagues: "If modern art is sometimes shrill," he said, "it is not the fault of artist alone. We all incline to raise our voices when we speak to people who are getting deaf."
Oxford University's student art and art history society is named after him
Single. Additional Language English. 1930-33 Privatdozent Hamburg University. Since 1934 Lecturer Warburg Institute, London. Speciality - English Philosophy; Contemporary German Philosophy.
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