20 Maresfield Gardens
Freud's psychoanalytic couch
A summer event in the Museum garden
About the Museum
The History of the Museum
The Freud Museum, at 20 Maresfield Gardens in Hampstead, was the home of Sigmund Freud and his family when they escaped Austria following the Nazi annexation in 1938. It remained the family home until Anna Freud, the youngest daughter, died in 1982. The centrepiece of the museum is Freud's study, preserved just as it was during his lifetime.
It contains Freud's remarkable collection of antiquities: Egyptian; Greek; Roman and Oriental. Almost 2,000 items fill cabinets and are arranged on every surface. There are rows of ancient figures on the desk where Freud wrote until the early hours of the morning. The walls are lined with shelves containing Freud's large library.
The house is also filled with memories of his daughter, Anna, who lived there for 44 years and continued to develop her pioneering psychoanalytic work, especially with children. It was her wish that the house become a museum to honour her illustrious father. The Freuds were fortunate to be able to bring all their furniture and household effects to London. These included splendid Biedermeier chests, tables and cupboards, and a fine collection of 18th and 19th century Austrian painted country furniture.
Undoubtedly the most famous piece of furniture in all the collection is Freud's psychoanalytic couch, on which all of his patients reclined. The couch is remarkably comfortable and is covered with a richly coloured Iranian rug with chenille cushions piled on top. Other fine Oriental rugs, Heriz and Tabriz, cover the floor and tables.
The Museum Today
The Museum engages actively with Sigmund and Anna's psychoanalytic legacy in contemporary ideas, art, and culture, while caring for the house and collections.
We have a broad range of Research Resources including Freud's personal library and collection, Anna Freud's personal library, an archive containing essential documentation on the life and work of Sigmund and Anna Freud and the history of psychoanalysis, a research library specialising in the history, theory and culture of psychoanalysis, a large library of photographs. Images from the library are also available to order.
Our busy Education Service caters for schools and universities as well as adult groups. In the Education section of the website, you will also find biographical information about Sigmund Freud, and key themes in his work.
In March 2014 we launched a new KS2 workshop based on the life and work of Anna Freud. This workshop draws on Anna's principles and techniques to help children develop positive approaches to their mental and emotional wellbeing.
This section also offers a bibliography. In addtion we have a lively Conferences and Events programme.
We have built up an international reputation for our Exhibition Programme, in which artists create new work in response to the house. Artists have included Sophie Calle, Mat Collishaw and more recently, Louise Bourgeois.
NB: We usually commission exhibitions in-house but do look at unsolicited proposals. If you are interested in proposing an exhibition, please send details to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our exhibition panel will next meet to discuss proposals at the end of the year. Please be aware that exhibitions must have strong links to Sigmund or Anna Freud and/or their work, and be externally funded. Our exhibition programme is currently booked up until 2016/17.
We have a Shop with a wide range books on the life and work of Sigmund Freud and contemporary psychoanalysis. We also stock stunning art prints and quirky gifts
The Museum can be hired for meetings, private events and filming.
We are an Accredited Museum.