Freud Museum London

Freud's couch
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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.

Venue Type:

Museum

Opening hours

Wed 12.00-20.30
Thurs-Sun 12.00-17.00

Admission charges

Adults: £9.00
Senior Citizens: £7
Concs: £5.00 (with valid student ID card, children aged 12-16, unemployed persons, disabled persons)
Under 12s: Free

Discounts

  • Museums Association

Additional info

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.

Collection details

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.
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Children at the Jackson Nursery in Vienna

Wunderblock: Emma Smith

  • 6 March — 26 May 2019 *on now

"Wunderblock" is an exhibition of new work by artist Emma Smith, drawing on original historical research into the post-war fascination with the infant mind. This research, undertaken by the Hidden Persuaders Project at Birkbeck, University of London, examines ‘brainwashing’ during the Cold War. Smith’s exhibition particularly focuses on this history in relation to the child.

In the wake of World War II there was considerable anxiety about how children’s minds could be shaped or influenced to support fascism, communism or liberal democracy. A generation of children had also directly experienced the devastation of war, separation from their families, or life in institutions. Child psychoanalysis and psychiatry gained a prominent role and it was a time of great innovation and debate. However, observing and interpreting the developing mind, nurturing infant mental health, and supporting good parenting, also became powerful political issues. These were inextricably linked to the interests of the state, and aspirations for generating democratic citizens.

Smith’s exhibition turns some of this complex history of debate about nature and nurture, and about benign and malign influences over the child, on its head. Smith asks ‘What is the agency of the child?’, ‘What is innate to the infant and in what ways are they an ‘expert’?’; and, crucially: ‘To what extent does the baby or child influence their environment, and shape the adult’s world?’. Inspired by the rich material surrounding infant observation in psychoanalysis by practitioners such as Melanie Klein, Anna Freud, Margaret Lowenfeld and Donald Winnicott, as well as the emergence of child-centred pedagogy and the anti-psychiatry movement, Wunderblock considers how we might engage with this history and meet the child from their own perspective.

Admission

Adults: £9.00
Concessions: £7.00
Young persons (12-16): £5.00
Children under 12: Free
Friends of the museum: Free

Website

https://www.freud.org.uk/exhibitions/wunderblock/

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Sigmund Freud desk and glasses

Psychoanalysis After Freud

  • 10 January — 28 March 2019 *on now

12-week evening course exploring Jung, Klein, Winnicott and Lacan.

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.)

Tutor: Keith Barrett BA PhD

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

£130 - £190

Website

https://www.freud.org.uk/event/psychoanalysis-after-freud/

child standing in front of a mirror

Hidden Persuaders Symposium

  • 6 April 2019 9am-12:30pm

As part of a series of public events related to the 'Wunderblock' exhibition, this informal half-day symposium will explore the historical and contemporary relationships between child psychoanalysis, observation and visual culture. The focus will be on the methodological innovations and clinical legacies of the inter-war and post-war decades, including baby observation, cinematic microanalysis, play technique and the therapeutic use of children’s art.

The morning will include discussion between clinicians. writers and academics, as well as short screenings of rare research films of mother-infant interaction, and an original film montage on the theme of child development by filmmaker Ian Magor. Contributors include Margaret and Michael Rustin, Isobel Pick, Lynda Nead, Dagmar Herzog, Katie Joice, Sarah Marks and Daniel Pick.

Tickets includes free entry on the day to the Museum and Emma’s ‘Wunderblock’ exhibition (usual price £9).

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£20 - £25

Website

https://www.freud.org.uk/event/hidden-persuaders-symposium/

Adam looking at Eve while she is reaching for the apple

Lacan, Biology, and Sex

  • 7 April 2019 10am-5pm

It is often misleadingly claimed that, by thinking the sexual unconscious in linguistic terms, Jacques Lacan does not deal with biology.

In this one-day intensive course we will contrast this naïve assumption. We will see how, in order to develop a logic of sexuation, Lacan needs to con­front the biological notion of sex from a psychoanalytic perspective.

On the one hand, we will focus on how Lacan’s attack on the – more or less – essentialist and fusional teleology of evolutionary theory, including that of the beginnings of molecular biology, is a constant throughout his oeuvre. Moving from a materialist perspective, psychoanalysis should problematize any alleged logos of life. For instance, the XX and XY chromo­somes are not, according to Lacan, a scientific writing of the way in which sex­ual difference generates the sexual relationship, but, instead, yet another reassertion of the mythical cosmic complementarity between matter and form, Yin and Yang as predicated in premodern times. Ignoring the clinical evidence provided by psychoanalysis, biology continues for the most part to take for granted a harmony between the sexes, and thus reduces itself to what we could call a “psycho-erotology”.

On the other hand, we will show how psychoanalysis cannot overlook the fact that cutting-edge research in behav­ioral neuroscience also contrasts this stance, and goes as far as defining sex as a set of “symptoms” that only successively allow for a “diagnosis” of male and female. Forty years after Lacan’s death, it is high time to establish a dialogue with some recent developments in the life sciences. Today, psychoanalysis should lend an ear to their own endeavor to have done with what Lacan, tacitly following the medicine Nobel laureate Jacques Monod, defines as animism, namely, the persistent anthropocentric assumption that natural objects in the world think (as we do).

Finally, we will argue that this dialogue should continue to endorse the question “What is a sci­ence that includes psychoanalysis?” as opposed to the – badly posed for Lacan – “Is psychoanalysis a science?”, that is, avoid conforming psychoanaly­sis to a hegemonic idea of science.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£48 - £65

Website

https://www.freud.org.uk/event/lacan-biology-and-sex/

small ceramic statues

Art on the Couch: The Creative Process of the Artist

  • 9 May 2019 7-8:30pm

What really goes into making a work of art? As part of London Craft Week 2019, the Freud Museum will be inviting artists Christie Brown and Barnaby Barford to explore the creative process in the production of their work, chaired by psychoanalyst Lesley Caldwell.

Both artists have formerly exhibited their work at the Freud Museum. Christie Brown’s solo exhibition in 2012-2013 entitled DreamWork was comprised of ceramic figures that responded to Sigmund Freud’s own collection of antiquities. Barnaby Barford contributed to a major in-house exhibition in 2018, Leaving Today: the Freuds in Exile 1938, where he produced a series of artworks with young survivors living in exile in London.

London Craft Week (8-12 May 2019) is an annual event that showcases exceptional craftsmanship through a journey-of-discovery programme featuring hidden workshops and unknown makers alongside celebrated masters, famous studios, galleries, shops and luxury brands.

The Freud Museum’s participation aims to offer an interesting and unique contribution to the London Craft Week agenda, demonstrating the application of psychoanalysis to artistic creation. The Museum has an impressive repertoire of site-responsive exhibitions held in its unique space throughout its 33-year history.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£11 - £13

Website

https://www.freud.org.uk/event/art-on-the-couch-the-creative-process-of-the-artist/

Woman looking up at her hands lifted towards a grey sky

PROJECTIONS: Lars von Trier’s Depression Trilogy

  • 11 May 2019 10am-5pm

Clinical depression is a topic Lars von Trier understands only too well, having been a sufferer for many years. His films "Antichrist" (2009), "Melancholia" (2011) and "Nymphomaniac" (2013) together form the so-called ‘Depression Trilogy’, driven by complex female characters battling profound grief, despair, and loneliness. Von Trier relies on the creative process to work through his debilitating mental health issues, famously saying, “I’m afraid of everything in life, except filmmaking.”

In this intensive day-course, we will psychoanalytically interpret Lars von Trier’s Depression Trilogy, with a special focus on the 1917 essay "Mourning and Melancholia", in which Sigmund Freud distinguishes between healthy and pathological responses to loss. We will engage with interdisciplinary concepts to explore von Trier’s dark and compelling emotional landscapes, where courageous performers represent the internal life of the director, shining a light through the dense fog of depression.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

£45 - £65

Website

https://www.freud.org.uk/event/projections-lars-von-triers-depression-trilogy/

Man holding a panel saying "love", red van on the background

PROJECTIONS: Lars von Trier’s America Trilogy

  • 18 May 2019 10am-5pm

Lars Von Trier’s reputation precedes him; he’s been called a trickster, a troll, a provocateur, and a punk.

His cinema sparks debate and controversy all over the world, boldly reaching into the darkest recesses of the human soul.

The Danish director is fascinated by Americana, despite having never travelled to the United States due to an overwhelming fear of flying. He investigates American society in an unofficial trilogy of films comprised of Dogville (2003), Manderlay (2005) and The House That Jack Built (2019). In these uncompromising tales of revenge, slavery and serial murder, we find a unique take on the volatility of group dynamics, the discontents of civilization, and all manner of human brutality.

Von Trier believes that the ‘Golden Age’ of democracy is behind us; in the current Trumpian era of bombastic political posturing, we will attempt to elevate the discourse with a psychoanalytic reading of Lars’s ‘America Trilogy’.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

£45 - £65

Website

https://www.freud.org.uk/event/projections-lars-von-triers-america-trilogy/

black and white drawing of a labyrinth full of black and white spiders

Lacan and Kafka: Knowledge, Enjoyment, and the Big Other

  • 19 May 2019 10am-5pm

There are only three passing references to Kafka in the entirety of Lacan’s vast oeuvre.

In this one-day intensive course, we will scrutinise these passages in their context and show how they can nonetheless throw light on key aspects of Lacanian psychoanalysis.

More generally, through a comparative reading of Lacan’s Seminars and Kafka’s "The Castle" and "The Burrow", we will introduce a number of pivotal psychoanalytic notions such as the object a, the big Other, the fantasy of absolute knowledge, and surplus-enjoyment.

The course will close with an outline of Lacan’s epistemological, ethical, and political stance in his visceral opposition to the so-called university discourse, the contemporary late-capitalist Castle.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£48-£65

Website

https://www.freud.org.uk/event/lacan-and-kafka-knowledge-enjoyment-and-the-big-other/

child standing in front of a mirror

The Hidden Persuader

  • 22 May 2019 7-8:30pm

An evening of discussion, hosted by artist Emma Smith with contributions from invited guests specialising in child development, children’s rights, and psychoanalysis. This event will consider and seek to unpack some of the key themes and ideas from Smith’s exhibition, Wunderblock.

Wunderblock is an exhibition of new work by artist Emma Smith, drawing on original historical research into the post-war fascination with the infant mind. Set against a history of state interest and intervention into child development after the Second World War, and a preoccupation with the accountability of the mother, Wunderblock questions and inverts some of this complex narrative to consider the agency of the child.

In the history of childhood, the child has emerged from an un-recognised entity to a protected status of vulnerability. But where in this history has the child been acknowledged as having agency in their own right? And to what extent does the child influence the adult world, both the children around us and the child we used to be? What is the agency of the child and what structures of power / societal expectations can this sit within? Can the child’s influence be seen in relation to the feminist idea of power to transform others, rather than to have power over them?

The event will reflect on Smith’s research and that of the Hidden Persuaders Project at Birkbeck, University of London. It will also consider contemporary attitudes to the shaping of the infant mind, and encourage attendees to question and consider their own beliefs in relation to the current status of children and young people in our society.

Advance booking strongly recommended

Ticket collection and access to the exhibition between 6.15-7pm

Part of the events series for Wunderblock by Emma Smith, curated by Rachel Fleming-Mulford, and commissioned by Birkbeck, University of London for the Hidden Persuaders Project, funded by the Wellcome Trust Public Engagement Fund.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Free - £3

Website

https://www.freud.org.uk/event/the-hidden-persuader

Prison cell

Freud in Prison

  • 29 May 2019 7-8:30pm

This discussion will aim to consider the connection between sexual abuse, offending behaviour and the vitality of psychotherapy.

In November 2015, George Osbourne announced the closure of the largest women’s prison in Europe, HMP Holloway. The recently published book, "The End of the Sentence, Psychotherapy with Female Offenders", edited by Pamela Windham Stewart and Jessica Collier is part of the Forensic Psychotherapy Monograph Series edited by Brett Kahr. "The End of the Sentence" records the rich and varied therapeutic interventions provided over 25 years at HMP Holloway.

The Freud in Prison conversation continues thinking about current forensic psychotherapy described in "The End of the Sentence". A key part of the discussion will explore the correlation between the high number of inmates who are victims of childhood sexual abuse (estimated at 65% of offenders have been sexually abused). The other aspect for discussion, and related to the first, is the creative power of psychotherapy in a forensic setting.

This conversation will between Pamela Windham Stewart, a psychotherapist and Kelly. While a former inmate, Kelly attended weekly psychotherapy as well as participating in weekly Managing Emotions Groups facilitated by Professor Gill McGauley and Pamela. From this experience Kelly has devised a 10-week group for women who were abused as children which she will discuss.

Can psychotherapy have a bigger, more vocal role to play in prisons and in society as a whole? Is psychotherapy a creative process which should take up a larger political role? And can we also consider what it is about child sexual abuse that is a mental prison for individuals, institutions and society at large?

…And may also have been a prison for Freud?

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£10 - £13

Website

https://www.freud.org.uk/event/freud-in-prison/

Freud Museum London
20 Maresfield Gardens
London
Greater London
NW3 5SX
England

Website

http://www.freud.org.uk/

E-mail

info@freud.org.uk

Telephone

020 7435 2002

Fax

020 7431 5452

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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