Ben Thomas
University of Kent, UK


Volume 1, October 2021   

During the years 1952–53 the art historian and philosopher Edgar Wind participated in several
major cultural events organized by the Congress for Cultural Freedom – notably the arts festival
Masterpieces of the Twentieth Century in Paris in 1952, and the conference Science and Freedom in
Hamburg in 1953. Wind’s involvement in this high-profile anti-communist organization, covertly
funded by the CIA, led him to reflect on his experience of exile, the threat posed to The Warburg
Institute by the Nazis in the 1930s, and the parallels with his current experience of American
academia at the height of Senator Joseph McCarthy’s influence. The moving impact of his return
to Hamburg in 1953 prompted Wind to make an unusually personal definition of freedom as
resulting from ‘the breaking up of habitus’, contrasting with Martin Heidegger’s contemporary
concept of ‘dwelling’ and closer to Theodor Adorno’s argument in Minima Moralia that ‘dwelling, in
the proper sense, is now impossible’ and that today ‘it is part of morality not to be at home in one’s

Dwelling; Edgar Wind; Exile; Freedom; Martin Heidegger; Theodor Adorno



Adorno, Theodor W., and Horkheimer, Max, Dialectic of Enlightenment, trans. by John Cumming (London and New York: Verso, 1999).

Adorno, Theodor W., ‘18: Refuge for the homeless’, in Minima Moralia: Reflections from Damaged Life, trans. by E. F. N. Jephcott (London and New York: Verso, 2005), pp. 38-39.

Buchler, Justus (ed.), Philosophical Writings of Peirce (New York: Dover, 1955).

Buschendorf, Bernhard, ‘“War ein sehr tüchtiges gegenseitiges Fördern”: Edgar Wind und Aby Warburg’, Idea: Jarhbuch der Hamburger Kunsthalle, IV (1985), pp. 165-209.

—— ‘Auf dem Weg nach England – Edgar Wind und die Emigration der Bibliothek Warburg’, in Porträt aus Büchern, ed. by Michael Diers (Hamburg: Dölling und Galitz Verlag, 1993), pp. 85-128.

Bredekamp, Horst, ‘Falsche Skischwünge. Winds Kritik an Heidegger und Sartre’, in Edgar Wind: Kunsthistoriker und Philosoph, ed. by Bredekamp, Bernhard Buschendorf, Freia Hartung and John Michael Krois (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1998), pp. 207-26.

Bredekamp, Horst, Bernhard Buschendorf, Freia Hartung, and John Michael Krois, eds., Edgar Wind: Kunsthistoriker und Philosoph (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1998).

Cassirer, Ernst, The Myth of the State (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1974).

Coleman, Peter, The Liberal Conspiracy: The Congress for Cultural Freedom and the Struggle for the Mind of Postwar Europe (London and New York: Macmillan, 1989).

Der Kongress für di Freiheit der Kultur, Wissenschaft und Freiheit (Berlin: Grunewald Verlag, 1954).

Derrida, Jacques, The Truth in Painting, trans. by Geoff Bennington and Ian McLeod (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1987).

Faye, Emmanuel, Heidegger: The Introduction of Nazism into Philosophy, trans. by Michael B. Smith (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2011).

Gilbert, Creighton, ‘Edgar Wind as Man and Thinker’, The New Criterion, 7 (October 1984), 36-41.

Greenfeld, Howard, Ben Shahn: An Artist’s Life (New York: Random House, 1998).

Gordon, Peter E., Continental Divide: Heidegger, Cassirer, Davos (Cambridge, Massachusetts and London: Harvard University Press, 2010).

Hardy, Henry and Jennifer Holmes, eds., Isaiah Berlin: Enlightening, Letters 1946-1960 (London: Pimlico, 2011).

Hartshorne, Charles, and Paul Weiss, eds., Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1934).

Heidegger, Martin, ‘Building Dwelling Thinking’, in Martin Heidegger: Basic Writings, ed. by David Farrell Krell (London and New York: Routledge Classics, 2011).

Hook, Sidney, Out of Step: An Unquiet Life in the 20th Century (New York: Harper & Row, 1987).

Jäger, Lorenz, Adorno: A Political Biography, trans. by Stewart Spencer (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2004).

Kristol, Irving, ‘Wissen als Tugend oder Macht – Bericht von der Tagung “Wissenschaft und Freiheit”’, Der Monat, 60 (September 1953), pp. 590-94.

Lasch, Christopher, The Agony of the American Left (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1968).

Levine, Emily J., Dreamland of Humanists: Warburg, Cassirer, Panofsky and the Hamburg School (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2013).

Lloyd-Jones, Hugh, ‘A Biographical Memoir’, in Edgar Wind, The Eloquence of Symbols: Studies in Humanist Art, ed. by Jaynie Anderson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983), pp. xiii-xxxvi.

Ott, Hugo, Martin Heidegger. A Political Life, trans. by Allan Blunden (London: Basic Books, 1993).

Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ms. Berlin 130, fol. 22.

—— Ms. Wind 9, fol. 2.

—— Ms. Wind 10, fol. 2.

—— Ms. Wind 11, fol. 2.

—— Ms. Wind 11, fol. 3.

—— Ms. Wind 11, fol. 4.

—— Ms. Wind 46, fol. 2.

—— Ms. Wind 271.

Peirce, Charles S., ‘How to Make Our Ideas Clear’, in Philosophical Writings of Peirce, ed. by Justus Buchler (New York: Dover, 1955).

Pohl, Frances K., Ben Shahn: New Deal Artist in a Cold War Climate 1947-1954 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1989).

Poincaré, Henri, La Science et l’Hypothèse (Paris: Ernest Flammarion, 1941).

Safranski, Rüdiger, Martin Heidegger: Between Good and Evil, trans. by Ewald Osers (Cambridge, Massachusetts and London: Harvard University Press, 1998).

Saunders, Frances Stonor, Who Paid the Piper? The CIA and the Cultural Cold War (London: Granta, 1999).

Schapiro, Meyer, Theory and Philosophy of Art: Style, Artist and Society (New York: George Braziller, 1994).

Schlesinger Jr, Arthur, ‘Polemic against Monotony’, The Saturday Review, 13 June 1953, pp. 13-14.

Science and Freedom, proceedings of a conference convened by the Congress for Cultural Freedom and held in Hamburg on July 23rd-26th, 1953 (London: Secker & Warburg, 1955).

Scott-Smith, Giles, The Politics of Apolitical Culture: The Congress for Cultural Freedom, the CIA, and Post-War American Hegemony (London and New York: Routledge, 2002).

Thomas, Ben, ‘Edgar Wind: A Short Biography’, Stan Rzeczy, 8 (2015), pp. 117-37.

—— Edgar Wind and Modern Art: In Defence of Marginal Anarchy (London: Bloomsbury, 2020).

Tietze-Conrat, Erica, ‘Mantegna’s Parnassus: A Discussion of a Recent Interpretation’, Art Bulletin, 31(2) (1949), pp. 126-130.

Wellens, Ian, Music on the Frontline: Nicolas Nabakov’s Struggle against Communism and Middlebrow Culture (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2002).

Wind, Edgar, ‘Jean Paul Sartre: A French Heidegger’, SCAN (Smith College Associated News), XL (5 March 1946), pp. 1-4.

——  ‘Blood, Iron and Intuition’, Polemic, 5 (September-October 1946), pp. 54-7.

—— Bellini’s Feast of the Gods: A Study in Venetian Humanism (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1948).

—— ‘Mantegna’s Parnassus: A Reply to Some Recent Reflections’, Art Bulletin, 31(3) (1949), p. 231.

—— ‘Un art de caprice, de recherches, un art marginal’, Supplément de la RevuePreuves’, 29 (1953), 16-17.

—— Art and Anarchy, third edition (London: Duckworth, 1985).

—— ‘Warburg’s Concept of Kulturwissenschaft’, in The Eloquence of Symbols, ed. by Jaynie Anderson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993), pp. 28-9.

—— Experiment and Metaphysics: Towards a Resolution of the Cosmological Antinomies, trans. by Cyril Edwards (Oxford: Legenda, 2001).

—— The Religious Symbolism of Michelangelo, ed. by Elizabeth Sears, introductions by Elizabeth Sears and John O’Malley (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001).

The Edgar Wind Journal 1: 67-85, 2021
DOI: 10.53245/EWJ-00005
Copyright: © 2021 B. Thomas. This is an open access, peer-reviewed article published by Bernardino Branca