Why War?

6 August 2014 to 19 October 2014

On the anniversary of the start of the First World War, this exhibition revisits correspondence between Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud on the subject of war and the possibility of avoiding it.

Themes of propaganda, disillusionment, the ‘pleasure of war’ and the psychological aspects of conflict are explored through Freud’s writings, contemporary art and poetry.

The exhibition reflects on the Freud family’s experience of war, with three sons serving on the front line, while the family waited anxiously for them, enduring considerable hardship at home.

Politicians, journalists and academics share their thoughts and visitors have the opportunity to contribute their answers to Einstein’s enduring question: “Is there any way of delivering mankind from the menace of war?”

Martin, Ernst and Sigmund Freud, 1916

Exhibiting Artists:

Alke Schmidt, Fabio Coruzzi, Frances Earnshaw, Gabrielle Rifkind, Jane McAdam Freud, Katia Salvany, Katja Rosenberg, Marcelle Hanselaar, Martin Adams, Melanie McKennell, Peter Rapp, Steve Edwards, Wuon-Gean Ho, Year 6 pupils from Griffin Primary School, Wandsworth, London

Contributors include: Sebastian Faulks, Clare Short, Edgar Jones, Ben Griffin and others.

Poetry contributed by members of the Young Poets’ Network, sponsored by The Poetry Society.

Audience #20 by Fabio Coruzzi