Freud Museum London
Listed house in Hampstead where Sigmund Freud and his family lived after fleeing the Nazis in 1938. The Museum was founded in 1986. It has featured in numerous films and TV broadcasts and hosts regular exhibitions and events. It is available for hire for filming and evening functions.
Senior Citizens: £6
Concs: £4.00 (with valid student ID card, children aged 12-16, unemployed persons, disabled persons)
Under 12s: Free
- Museums Association
Our library, study and research facilities are open by appointment only.
Sigmund Freud's large collection of Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Oriental antiquities and his library. His study with the psychoanalytic couch preserve his working environment. A reference library, archive and picture library document the history of psychoanalysis.
Archaeology, Archives, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Personalities, Social History
Key artists and exhibits
- Freud's couch; Dali portrait of Freud; Brouillet print of Charcot; Abu Simbel print; photographs of Yvette Guilbert, Princess Marie Bonaparte, Lou Andreas-Salome, Charcot, Freud family.
PROJECTIONS: Psychoanalytic investigation of women in horror films
- 23 October — 27 November 2017 *on now
Following the literary tradition established by Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley, the horror genre in film seeks to elicit physiological and psychological reactions through visual and narrative techniques involving suspense, gore, the macabre and the supernatural. Horror films transfix and terrify audiences in equal measure, unfailingly achieving suspension of disbelief because fear is a universal and powerful emotion.
The role of women in horror movies is especially intriguing because of the ambivalent position occupied by female characters, ranging from victims of violence to perpetrators of dread. In The Question of Lay Analysis (1926), Sigmund Freud wrote, “The sexual life of adult women is a dark continent for psychology.” Even at the end of his life, Freud was preoccupied by a question that never left him: “What do women want?” – the mystery of female subjectivity persisted with the advancement of psychoanalytic thought. It is precisely this perception of ‘the unknown’ that drives much of the unsettling storylines concerning women in horror films.
Relying predominantly on Julia Kristeva’s theory of abjection, we will investigate cinematic representations of female bodies that appear paradoxically fragmented, decayed and impure, as well as wholesome, nurturing and attractive. Kristeva defines horror as a breakdown in meaning caused by the loss of boundaries between self and other. The abject disturbs identity, borders and rules – horror films portraying unclean and taboo elements of the feminine experience reveal the entwined dual system of Eros (beauty, sexual awakening, love, pregnancy) and Thanatos (possession, disease, destruction, death).
Other theoretical constructs in this series will include Freud’s hysteria, Jacques Lacan’s jouissance, and R.D. Laing’s ontological insecurity. Advance viewing is optional, select scenes and montages will be shown during weekly sessions (see filmography below). Content warning: graphic imagery will be presented – viewer discretion is advised.
Week 1 – ADOLESCENCE: Teeth (2007), Carrie (1976), The Exorcist (1973)
Week 2 – IDENTITY: The Ring (2002), Single White Female (1992), The Brøken (2008)
Week 3 – PSYCHOSIS: Black Swan (2010), Whatever Happened to Baby Jane (1962), Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Week 4 – ECONOMICS: Starry Eyes (2014), The Hunger (1983), American Psycho (2000)
Week 5 – DEMONS: The Entity (1982), Possession (1981), Paranormal Activity (2007)
Week 6 – DEVOURING: Neon Demon (2016), Dans Ma Peau (2002), Eat (2014)
PROJECTIONS is psychoanalysis for film interpretation. PROJECTIONS empowers film spectators to express subjective associations they consider to be meaningful. Expertise in psychoanalytic theory is not necessary - the only prerequisite is the desire to enter and inhabit the imaginary world of film, which is itself a psychoanalytic act. MARY WILD, a Freudian cinephile from Montreal, is the creator of PROJECTIONS.
Full price: £100
Freinds of the Museum £75
Students and Concessions: £75
Tricky Women: Turbulent Times, Trusted Places
- 12 December 2017 5:30-8:30pm
In recent years, hardly any other form of art has influenced everyday visual perception as much as animation in its various facets. The Freud Museum London and the Austrian Cultural Forum present a specially curated programme of films from this year’s festival entitled Turbulent Times, Trusted Places.
The programme presents a variety of different animation films and filmmakers, which, in their different ways, contemplate enduring questions around place and space. What is it like to arrive in a new city (Shut up Moon, Gudrun Krebitz) or to explore a city together with magical creatures made of recycled and discarded objects (Taipei Recyclers, Nikki Schuster). Other films explore human emotions such as greed which destroys our social connections as well as environmental consciousness (Princess Disaster Movie, Xenia Ostrovskaya und YACHAY, Anne Zwiener), The effect of loneliness on the periphery (Ginny, Susi Jirkuff); the unpredictability of love (The infatuated cook, Verena Hochleitner & Ulrike Swoboda-Ostermann). While other films tell touching family stories (Garten & Schnaps, Amelie Loy), and how women take control of their own destinies (Two Melons – Birth of an Artist, Ingrid Gaier).
On the occasion of the exhibition ‘So this is the Strong Sex’ Women in Psychoanalysis at the Freud Museum London, we present a programme of films celebrating female artistic production as well as the variety of styles, approaches, techniques and themes within the genre.
The infatuated cook (Zamilovaný kuchař), Directed by: Verena Hochleitner, Ulrike Swoboda-Ostermann (AT 2013, 10 min.)
Follow You, Regie: Katharina Petsche (AT 2013, 4 min.)
Gaden & Schnaps (Zahrada & pálenka), Regie: Amelie Loy (AT 2013, 12 min.)
Ginny, Regie: Susi Jirkuff (AT 2015, 5 min.)
Machine, Regie: Anna Vasof (AT 2015, 2 min.)
Princess Disaster Movie, Regie: Xenia Ostrovskaya (AT 2014, 4 min.)
Shut up Moon, Regie: Gudrun Krebitz (AT 2014, 4 min.)
Taipei Recyclers, Regie: Nikki Schuster (AT 2014, 7 min.)
Two Melons – Birth of an Artist, Regie: Ingrid Gaier (AT 2014, 2 min.)
YachaY, Regie: Anne Zwiener (AT 2015, 7 min.)
The Freud Museum London, in conjunction with the Austrian Cultural Forum, are proud to host a special film evening featuring a selection of animated short films by female filmmakers to accompany our forthcoming exhibition 'So This is the Strong Sex' Women in Psychoanalysis, opening 29 November 2017.
The featured films were first screened at the Tricky Women International Animation Film Festival in Vienna earlier this year.
£11.66 - £13.75
Psychoanalysis After Freud
- 11 January — 29 March 2018
Psychoanalysis was initiated by Freud, then transformed by a series of powerful creative figures who both extended and deepened its range, opening new intellectual horizons as they applied its methods to new problems and new fields. We will focus on four leading innovators, carefully examining their criticisms of Freud and the manner in which they modified his theories and therapeutic practice. In this way, the course will give an overview of the development of psychoanalysis across its first century and into the beginning of its second. While intended to be accessible to beginners, it will also stimulate those who already have some knowledge of the field.
(The course is self-contained – as is ‘Introducing Freud at the Freud Museum’ which precedes it in the autumn term. The two courses can be taken in either order, or as ‘stand alone’ modules, but complete beginners wanting a thorough introduction to psychoanalysis should take ‘Introducing Freud’ first, then follow on with the present course.)
Week 1: Jung (1): Introduction to the course: The nature and status of psychoanalysis. The conflict between Freud and Jung over the foundations of psychoanalysis. Freud’s ‘Totem and Taboo’ versus Jung’s ‘Symbols of Transformation’.
Week 2: Jung (2): Freud’s relation to Schopenhauer and Jung’s relation to Nietzsche, and how this leads to Jung’s theory of ‘individuation’ and the self, versus Freud’s conception of the ego and the ‘personal’ unconscious. Jung’s ‘Personality Types’ and the requirement of the ‘training analysis’ for all analysts.
Week 3: Jung (3): Jung’s view of development across the life-cycle: his interpretation of Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’. The function of religion, and of art, according to Jung and Freud. Relationships and sexuality in the Jungian perspective.
Week 4: Klein (1): Klein’s approach to the psychoanalysis of children versus the approach of Anna Freud. The beginnings of the Kleinian revolution in psychoanalysis: the world of the infant within the child. The challenge to the Freudian conception of the Oedipus complex.
Week 5: Klein (2): Klein’s interpretation of Freud’s ‘Eros’ and ‘Thanatos’, and her view of how these conflicting forces play themselves out in the inner world of the very young child. The ‘Paranoid-Schizoid position’ and the ‘Depressive position’. Klein’s ‘Envy and Gratitude’. Klein and Bion.
Week 6: Klein (3): Klein’s view of sexuality and gender, and her critique of Freud’s view of the difference between the sexes. ‘Penis envy’ and ‘Womb envy’: a ‘mother centred’ psychoanalysis, as opposed to the ‘father centred’ psychoanalysis of Freud. Karen Horney’s critique of Freud. The Kleinian view of art and of society.
Week 7: Winnicott (1): Winnicott’s critique of Klein: the crucial importance of the early environment in the development of the infant. ‘Primary maternal preoccupation’, ‘Holding’, ‘Handling’ and ‘Personalization’ in early development. The ‘true self’, the ‘false self’, and ‘going on being’.
Week 8: Winnicott (2): Winnicott’s concept of the ‘Transitional Object’: transitional phenomena and the ‘intermediate area of experience’. Winncott’s understanding of art, culture and religion. Play and the nature of psychotherapy. Winnicott, Bion and Beckett.
Week 9: Winnicott (3): A Winnicottian view of the difference between the sexes. Gender and science; science versus art; the two cultures and their relation to sexuality. The nature of psychoanalysis, and psychotherapy, and their relation to science and to art.
Week 10: Lacan (1): The Lacanian revolution: the function of speech and language in psychoanalysis, and the fateful significance of the ‘mirror stage’. How the unconscious is ‘structured like a language’.
Week 11: Lacan (2): Lacan’s three ‘orders’: the imaginary, symbolic and real. The primacy of the symbolic: psychoanalysis as the study of our relationship to language. The Lacanian understanding of neurosis and psychosis.
Week 12: Lacan (3): ‘The meaning of the phallus’: Lacan’s view of sexuality and gender. A return to a ‘father centred’ psychoanalysis? Irigaray’s critique of Freud and Lacan. Jacqueline Rose on Lacan and Klein. Lacan on Love.
Full price: £190
Friends of the Museum: £160
PROJECTIONS: Darren Aronofsky - The Cinema of Obsession
- 22 January 2018 7-9pm
- 29 January 2018 7-9pm
- 5 February 2018 7-9pm
American film director Darren Aronofsky was once asked if he deliberately aims to make audiences feel uncomfortable. He replied, “I definitely want to make them feel something. I'm inspired by the Cyclone roller coaster in Coney Island, where I grew up. It is the greatest ride in the world. I've always tried to construct my films with the same structure: intense, on the edge of your seat.”
The influence of cinema masters Polanski, Buñuel and Cronenberg is evident in Aronofsky’s ambitious oeuvre, which is built on representing extreme states: isolationists preoccupied with abstract intellectual concepts, addicts consumed with the desire to chase the next mind bending high, public performers who brutally push their bodies and psyches beyond the edge. Aronofsky’s recent release, mother!, is a strikingly violent metaphor that makes the Cyclone roller coaster seem like a walk in the park. Reactions to his films are mixed - spectators either love or loathe the controversial auteur; he certainly isn’t for the faint of heart!
In this 3-week lecture series, six of Aronofsky’s films will be examined in categories relating to Fixation, Performance and Cosmology, referencing psychoanalytic concepts to shed light on the running theme of obsession throughout his body of work. We will engage closely with the director’s signature style (a combination of melodrama, psychological horror, fantasy and surrealism) as he portrays the devastating pitfalls and amplified pleasures of being driven by a singular, extreme passion. The motif of obsession communicates yearning, pain and love in a supercharged way - it is difficult to name a modern director who surpasses Aronofsky in authentically representing this overwhelming emotional experience on film.
Advance viewing is optional, select scenes and montages will be shown during weekly sessions (see filmography below).
Week 1 - FIXATION
Pi (1998): A paranoid mathematician searches for a primer that will unlock the universal patterns found in nature.
Requiem For A Dream (2000): The drug-induced utopias of four Coney Island characters are shattered when their addictions spin out of control.
Week 2 - PERFORMANCE
The Wrestler (2008): A faded professional wrestler must retire, but finds his quest for a new life outside the ring a dispiriting struggle.
Black Swan (2010): A committed dancer wins the lead role in a production of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake only to find herself struggling to maintain her sanity.
Week 3 - COSMOLOGY
The Fountain (2006): A modern-day scientist struggles with mortality, desperately searching for the medical breakthrough that will save the life of his cancer-stricken wife.
mother! (2017): A couple's relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence.
PROJECTIONS is psychoanalysis for film interpretation. PROJECTIONS empowers film spectators to express subjective associations they consider to be meaningful. Expertise in psychoanalytic theory is not necessary - the only prerequisite is the desire to enter and inhabit the imaginary world of film, which is itself a psychoanalytic act.
MARY WILD, a Freudian cinephile from Montreal, is the creator of PROJECTIONS.
Full Price: £45
Students/senior citizens/unwaged: £36
Friends of the Museum: £36
Freud Museum London
20 Maresfield Gardens
020 7435 2002
020 7431 5452