The Uncanny: A Centenary

30 October 2019 to 9 February 2020

The Uncanny: A Centenary

This year marks 100 years since Sigmund Freud wrote his paper on The Uncanny. A theory that went on to inspire art, film, literature and further psychoanalytic enquiry.

The uncanny is a feeling that is difficult to describe. It is related to dread, horror, repulsion and distress. But what turns something frightening into something uncanny?

The Uncanny Karolina Urbaniak Martin Bladh Eye

The Freud Museum’s exhibition celebrates Freud’s essay and explores its legacy. Elizabeth Dearnley, lili Spain, Martha Todd and Karolina UrbaniakMartin Bladh have made new artworks exploring the uncanny which may make you feel a little unsettled… Alongside these new works will be several etchings by German Surrealist Hans Bellmer.

Elizabeth Dearnley’s The Sandman includes an audio trail around the museum. The app is available on the App Store and on Google Play. You can download this beforehand or on site at the Museum – to get the full experience please use your headphones.

The Uncanny Lili Spain Martha Todd

As well as finding out about historical and contemporary contexts, experience the immersive room inspired by E. T. A. Hoffmann’s story of The Sandman. Try out our downloadable app to hear an uncanny perspective on Freud’s collection of antiquities. Allow this exhibition to take you on a haunting journey through Freud’s former home.


Arts Council England Lottery Grant

The Sandman App

The Sandman app is available on the App Store and on Google Play.

App Store

The Uncanny Events

The Freud Museum will host a series of events to accompany the exhibition.

1 November – Event: The Uncanny Masked Ball
3 November – Course: Projections: The Uncanny in Cinema
8 November – Talk: Psychoanalysis and The Uncanny
13 November – Talk: Party’s Over: Introducing the Feminist Uncanny
24 November – Event: One Uncanny Sunday…
12 January – Course: Projections: The Cinema of David Lynch
16 January – Talk: Why Some Forms of Technology Gives Us the Creeps
22 January – Talk: Performing The Uncanny
5 February – Talk: Funerary Masks and Death Masks

Exhibition Dates

30 October 2019 to 9 February 2020

Opening Times

Monday – Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday – Sunday  : 12:00 – 17:00

Plan your visit to the Freud Museum: opening times, directions and admission fees.