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The Tree of Knowledge, (1959)

Giorgio Tagliacozzo (concept) and Hildegarde Bergheim (graphic translation)

In Giorgio Tagliacozzo and D. P. Verene, (eds.), The “Arbor Scientia”. 
Reconceived and the History of Vico’s Resurrection. 
Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities, 1993
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In 1959, the social researcher Giorgio Tagliacozzo proposed a system for organizing the knowledge that had been acquired over the course of history through scientific literature. The architect Hildegarde Bergheim designed a large schema in the form of a tree, in an attempt to represent the high degree of abstraction of Tagliacozzo’s ideas in the form of a diagrammatic map.


To achieve this, she drew a broad trunk from which all of the branches of knowledge grew. These were divided into two large systems, dedicated to discursive thought and representational symbolism, from which the branch of art extended. All of the branches grew upwards and in parallel, bifurcating into various boughs of knowledge areas but without coming into contact or interweaving with one another.


This artificial tree-based model is an example of the many types of diagram that have been developed in order to find a way to explain the history of art from 1936 through to the present day. In this final part of the exhibition we have brought together a varied, meaningful and important group of examples of this particular type of visual representation. It is a presentational format that makes it possible to organize data, represent causal relationships, express the passage of time, develop theories and divulge knowledge. It is like a set of encyclopedias that together comprise a pluralistic mosaic and are able to provide a narrative by visually linking texts, structures, symbols and images, in a state of constant renewal and growth.


The audio tour of the exhibition Genealogies of Art, or the History of Art as a Visual Art, ends here. Please remember to return your audio guide to the collection point. On behalf of the Museo Picasso Málaga, we hope you have enjoyed your visit and we look forward to seeing you again soon. Thank you very much.