Warm greetings from 20 Maresfield Gardens, the final home of Sigmund and Anna Freud.
Situated at 20 Maresfield Gardens in Hampstead, the Freud Museum was the home of the founder of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud and his family when they fled Nazi persecution in Vienna in 1938. Following Freud’s death it remained the family home until his daughter Anna, a pioneer of child psychoanalysis, died in 1982. The house opened as a museum four years later.
At the core of the museum is Sigmund Freud’s perfectly preserved study, a walk-in compendium of some 2,500 ancient curiosities and a living testament to his intertwined obsessions with psychoanalysis and archaeology. The study is also home to Freud’s library, desk, furnishings, and famous psychoanalytic couch.
The museum moreover holds an extensive collection of books, furnishings and artefacts that belonged to Anna Freud and her companion Dorothy Burlingham, and an archive of documents related to the Freuds and to other notable figures in the history of psychoanalysis including Sándor Ferenczi, Wilhelm Stekel, and Masud Khan. Our collections also include a number of works by twentieth-century artists including Salvador Dali, Lucian Freud, Milein Cosman, and Marie-Louise von Motesiczky.
This year we launch our new Forward Plan titled Unlocking Our Inner Lives – We Are All Freudians Now, setting out the upcoming priorities for the Freud Museum. This will cover the period between the centenary of the publication of Sigmund Freud’s influential work The Ego and the Id in 1923 and the fortieth anniversary of the opening of the Museum in 2026. This will be an intensely busy period of activity and a transformative chapter in the life of the Freud Museum and we invite all of our patrons, supporters and stakeholders to join us on this journey.
I very much look forward to meeting you and I hope that you will continue to enjoy all that we have on offer, from the wide-ranging events programme to our unmissable exhibitions. Our two archaeology-inspired exhibitions this year – Freud’s Antiquity: Object, Idea, Desire and Tracing Freud on the Acropolis – allow visitors to see at close hand some of the most intriguing items from Freud’s personal collection which was transported from Vienna to London in 1938. And both encourage visitors to engage with Freud’s passion for antiquity and his idiosyncratic, almost maniacal, collecting habits in startling ways. This autumn we will turn our attentions to The Ego and the Id with an immersive interactive display in the Freud Museum’s Learning Suite. In January 2024 we will open Freud and Latin America which will survey Freud’s relationship to, and reception in, the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking cultures of South and Central America. Keep an eye on our channels for updates on all our programming.
Giuseppe Albano, PhD (Cantab), MBE
Director, Freud Museum London