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: £7
Concs: £5.00 (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.
Freud, Dalí and the Metamorphosis of Narcissus
- 3 October 2018 — 24 February 2019 *on now
Sigmund Freud and Salvador Dalí are two of the most significant and influential figures of the twentieth century.
Dalí was a passionate admirer of the father of psychoanalysis and finally met him in London on July 19th 1938. This year 2018 marks the 80th anniversary of this event. A new exhibition at the Freud Museum will explore the connection between the two men, starting from their one meeting, to which Dalí brought his recently completed painting The Metamorphosis of Narcissus.
The painting, on loan from the Tate, will be the central point in the exhibition for an exploration of the extensive influence of Freud on Dalí and on Surrealism. Also considered will be Freud’s own attitude to painting, illuminated by his response to this encounter with Dalí.
Dalí had read The Interpretation of Dreams as an art student in Madrid in the early 1920s. This was, he wrote, “one of the capital discoveries of my life, and I was seized with a real vice of self-interpretation, not only of my dreams but of everything that happened to me.” This passion for self-interpretation took not just visual but also written form. In 1933 Dalí wrote a “psycho-analytical essay”, as he described it, on the famous painting by Jean-François Millet, The Angelus. The essay was eventually published as a book, The Tragic Myth of Millet’s ‘Angelus’. In it, Dalí explores his own obsession with the painting, which he lays out in the form of a Freudian case history.
In 1938, after several attempts, Dalí finally met his hero Freud, newly arrived in London after fleeing from Nazi-occupied Vienna. The meeting was brokered by Stefan Zweig, who was present, together with Dalí’s friend and patron Edward James, who owned The Metamorphosis of Narcissus. Dalí hoped his painting would allow him to engage Freud in a discussion of the psychoanalytical theory of Narcissism and would help him to demonstrate his concept of critical paranoia.
Dali was given permission to sketch Freud during the visit. These drawings, now in the Fundacio Gala-Salvador Dalí in Spain, will be on display, and Dali’s long poem with the same title as the painting, The Metamorphosis of Narcissus. There will also be material from the Freud Museum’s archive and collections, shedding light on Freud’s attitude to Dalí and their meeting.
Other themes of the exhibition will include the classical origins of the myth of Narcissus and the place of narcissism in psychoanalytic thinking. Freud’s own collections will play a part. For example, they include a copy of the classical relief Gradiva; Freud’s study of Wilhelm Jensen’s novel Gradiva was the inspiration for some of Dalí’s important paintings and drawings on this theme from the early 1930s.
Through images, including original paintings and drawings, photographs and prints, and documents including letters, manuscripts, books and Freud’s appointment diary, the intense – if somewhat one-sided -relationship between two extraordinary thinkers and creators will be explored.
The exhibition will be curated by the distinguished art historian Dawn Ades, curator of the recent highly successful Dali/Duchamp exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts.
£9, £7, £5
Introducing Freud at the Freud Museum: 12 Week Evening Course
- 20 September — 6 December 2018 *on now
Tutor: Keith Barrett BA PhD
As Freud is so frequently referenced, it can easily be assumed that we already know everything about him, but the superficial manner in which his life and ideas are normally discussed conceals the fact that his writings and the thought behind them are poorly understood at the level of popular awareness, and that an accurate picture of Freud that does justice to the true nature of his achievements has never fully emerged. This situation has been exacerbated by the series of intense controversies that has raged around his ideas since they first became internationally known.
Nevertheless, since the mid-1970’s, distinguished scholars – including historians of science and cultural historians – have been producing groundbreaking studies illuminating in detail the context in which Freud was working, and the sequence of steps by which he arrived at the central ideas and methods of psychoanalysis. Taking the results of all these studies together, we now have an accurate and nuanced picture of Freud as a scientific investigator and therapeutic innovator, and of the actual process through which psychoanalysis was created.
The aim of ‘Introducing Freud’ is to revisit Freud’s most important writings – bringing to bear on our critical examination of his texts the results of the last 40 years of Freud scholarship. We will also take into account the major critiques of Freud’s work advanced in the last 70 years – for example, the feminist critique of Freud and the positivist critique of the scientific status of psychoanalysis – as well as exploring the important changes in our view of Freud brought about by advances in psychoanalysis itself.
Each session of the course will focus on selected passages from Freud’s writings (all the readings are taken from ‘The Freud Reader’ edited by Peter Gay), with the aim of enabling students to familiarise (or re-familiarise) themselves directly with his ideas, while clarifying the import of his most important concepts and theories, as well as his approach to the practice of psychoanalysis. This will provide the basis on which to evaluate the most recent scholarship devoted to the re-assessment of his achievements – and the current state of play in the principal debates surrounding his legacy.
We will place Freud’s writings accurately in their historical context – while also bringing into focus the relevance of his work to debates that are taking place at the present time.
The course will be accessible to beginners – but is also designed for those already familiar with Freud’s work who wish to acquaint themselves with the results of the latest research and scholarship and update themselves on the intellectual issues and controversies surrounding it.
£130 - £190
The Minotaur, the Painted Lady and the Egg
- 30 November 2018 7-10:30pm
Join us for our first ever surrealist costume ball marking the meeting of two great minds; Sigmund Freud and Salvador Dalí, 80 years ago.
Dress code: Freud, Dalí, Surrealism
Whatever you do, leave the ordinary and every day at home.
You will be serenaded by a sonic music surrealist DJ dream created by a “Female Figure with Head of Flowers” Auntie Maureen. Flowers, soundscapes and electronic beats weave together a musical dream on a Freudian dance floor. Prancing, dancing and surreal self-expression are all most welcome.
Join London Drawing Group for a true celebration of the surrealist manifesto – disrupt your normal drawing practices (or if you don’t have one, invent one!) embrace the chaos of creation and collaborate with others in honor of the incredible relationship between Dalí and Freud.
Throughout the evening, you will discover impromptu performances. You will be able to drop in at the LDG interactive drawing station and collaborate, create, and confuse with their resident LDG tutors, or venture into the immersive experience of Freud’s house, armed with an array of exercises and techniques to get everyone creating surrealist masterpieces!
No costume – no admission.
PROJECTIONS: Erotic Cinema. Six week evening course.
- 21 January — 25 February 2019
The depiction of sexuality can have a pronounced effect on character development, shaping the direction of a film’s central themes. Sigmund Freud believed that “the behaviour of a human being in sexual matters is often a prototype for the whole of their other modes of reaction in life.” We respond to provocative content that ‘turns us on’; risqué scenes make the heart beat faster and ignite the imagination. Psychoanalysts regard sexuality as the key to understanding how the mind works; “no one who disdains the key will ever be able to unlock the door,” Freud warned.
Eros, the Ancient Greek word for romantic love, is tantamount to the life instinct in psychoanalysis, constituting the pleasures of the flesh, procreation, survival, productivity and the desire to unite with others. Early on, Freud defined erotic impulses as being opposed by the Ego. But later, in Beyond The Pleasure Principle (1920), he placed Eros in contrast to the so-called ‘death wish’: repetition, aggression, a masochistic need to sabotage what we love, and the compulsion to return to an inorganic state (i.e., Thanatos).
The simultaneously binding and clashing forces of sex and death together form an entwined dual system that is the source of all creation. PROJECTIONS: Erotic Cinema is a 6-week course exploring this paradoxical tension in eroticism, tracing its manifestation in moving image, from unbridled passions to destructive urges, via deviant practices, to a more diverse and inclusive representation of romance, culminating in a study of modern technology’s impact on the realm of the senses.
£75 - £100
Pelvic Gazing at the Frauenklinik: Egon Schiele’s Clinical Modernism
- 23 January 2019 7-8:30pm
In 1910, the prodigious young artist Egon Schiele (1890-1918) completed a series of life-studies of heavily pregnant women and new-born babies at the Second Women’s Clinic within the University of Vienna’s General Hospital. This was one of two public clinics and teaching institutions for gynaecology and obstetrics which had opened to international acclaim just two years previously.
Combining visual analysis with an investigation of the Clinic’s ‘progressive’ facilities, practices and pedagogies, the presentation will reflect upon the entanglement of the artistic and medical gaze in the modern period, and its occlusion in modernist art history.
How does a retrieval of the clinical context for Schiele’s work enable us to engage with the social and sexual politics of medical specialisation and modernist representation?
How do these politics problematise the historicising of this and other modern artists’ images of the naked female body as the pursuit of fundamental human truths?
Gemma Blackshaw, Professor of Art History at the University of Plymouth, has an international reputation for research on art in ‘Vienna 1900’. She curated the major exhibition Facing the Modern: The Portrait in Vienna 1900 for the National Gallery London in 2013. She co-curated Madness and Modernity: Mental Illness and the Visual Arts in Vienna 1900 at the Wellcome Collection, London, in 2009, which, as a result of its critical reception, was restaged in an expanded form at the Wien Museum, Vienna, in 2010. She has published widely on modernist Viennese portraiture and figuration, with a particular focus on its intersections with modern medicine’s visual, institutional and therapeutic regimes.
£9 - £12
Art Macabre Surrealist Life Drawing Salon Self Love, Reflection and Sketching
- 13 February 2019 7-9pm
Art Macabre present a series of tableaux featuring nude models, creative installations within the museum’s rooms to sketch and draw from (including creating an intimate self portrait), and poetry. Inspired by the myth of Narcissus, we will explore through drawing themes of self-love, surrealism and psychoanalysis. An opportunity for self-reflection and creative exploration through sketching. An alternative to St Valentines, join us to explore the relationship between Dali and Freud and between you and your self in the unique setting of the Freud Museum.
All drawing materials and paper provided thanks to the support of GreatArt.
Part of an exciting series of talks and events which coincide with ‘Freud, Dali and the Metamorphosis of Narcissus’ on display the Museum from 3 October 2018 – 24 February 2019.
Entry to the museum and exhibition included in your ticket.
£17 - £20
Freud Museum London
20 Maresfield Gardens