Organized Escape: Psychoanalysts in Exile - Exhibition in the USA

From June 3, 2023
Austen Riggs Center, Stockbridge, Massachusetts (USA)
Corner House Community Exhibition Space, 48 Main Street

We are happy to announce the exhibition “Organized Escape: Psychoanalysts in Exile” in the United States. This show is one of the cornerstones of the successful collaboration with the Erikson Institute at the Austen Riggs Center: Based on the much-praised exhibition “Organized Escape – Survival in Exile. Viennese Psychoanalysis 1938 and Beyond”, which was conceived by the Sigmund Freud Museum in cooperation with Arbeitsgruppe zur Geschichte der Psychoanalyse and presented at Berggasse 19 in 2021/2022, the Erikson Institute now brings the immersive and historical exhibition to Stockbridge, Massachusetts, to explore migration to the United States and its impact on psychoanalysis and mental health treatment. Following four digital panel discussions as part of this collaboration (see them on our Youtube Channel), the talk "From Vienna to the US: Expulsion and Renaissance of Psychoanalysis" with Daniela Finzi will take place on June 7 at the Austrian Cultural Forum New York. More about the event ...


About the Exhibition in Stockbridge

This exhibition “Organized Escape: Psychoanalysts in Exile” tells the unique history of the collective escape of Jewish Viennese psychoanalysts through selected biographies, numerous images, and original, written documents. From the detailed lists and plans laid out by Anna Freud and the leaders of the Viennese Psychoanalytic Society (WPV), to their joyous reunion at the Austen Riggs Center’s “First Stockbridge Congress on Child Analysis” in 1950, we learn that many succeeded in finding professional fulfilment in exile, and some of them went on to have impressive careers.

Austen Riggs former Medical Director (1947-66) Robert Knight, MD, and émigré psychoanalysts Ernst and Marianne Kris played a key role in the organization of this congress and in the development of psychoanalysis in the United States. Later, the Kris’ son Anton O. Kris became an important figure in psychoanalysis, building bridges between psychoanalysts in Europe and the United States.

Director of the Erikson Institute Jane G. Tillman, PhD, states: “American psychoanalysis in the 20th century was considerably enriched and shaped by the émigré psychoanalysts from Central Europe and this exhibit tells the story of the concerted effort by psychoanalytic organizations around the world to aid in the lifesaving escape of Jewish psychoanalysts from Vienna as the Nazis invaded Austria.”


Organized Escape: Psychoanalysts in Exile
Special exhibition by the Sigmund Freud Museum, Vienna,
in collaboration with the Austen Riggs Center
At the Corner House Community Exhibition Space
48 Main Street, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, USA
June 3 through October 16th, 2023, Thursdays–Saturdays, 10 am – 4 pm (Eastern)
More information:


The original exhibition “Organized Escape – Survival in Exile. Viennese Psychoanalysis 1938 and Beyond” by the Sigmund Freud Museum in Vienna was curated by Daniela Finzi and Monika Pessler (Sigmund Freud Museum) in cooperation with Arbeitsgruppe zur Geschichte der Psychoanalyse: Thomas Aichhorn, Georg Augusta, Eva Kohout, Roman Krivanek, Nadja Pakesch, Alix Paulus and Katharina Seifert (WPV und WAP). See the online version of this exhibition ...


The collaboration

The collaboration between the Sigmund Freud Museum, Vienna, and the Austen Riggs Center, also includes four virtual roundtable discussions exploring legacy, loss, genocide, and the impact of emigration on psychoanalysis. Recordings of these roundtables can be found at the YouTube channel of the Sigmund Freud Museum.

This collaboration was undertaken in honor of the late Anton O. Kris who served as the Executive Director of the Freud Archives and worked tirelessly to build relationships across oceans and generations of psychoanalysts. It is supported in part by Steven C. Ackerman and grants from the Stockbridge Cultural Council and the Lee Cultural Council, local agencies that are supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.


About the Austen Riggs Center

The Austen Riggs Center is a vital therapeutic community, open psychiatric hospital, and institute for education, research, and advocacy in the field of mental health. Located in the Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts, Riggs has been serving adults since its founding in 1919. In addition to its residential program, Riggs also offers a fully online course of treatment for college students and other emerging adults in MA or NY via its Remote Access Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). Riggs’ mission is to promote resilience and self-direction in those with complex psychiatric problems—to help people take charge of their lives. In addition to the Center’s clinical mission, the Erikson Institute for Education, Research, and Advocacy of the Austen Riggs Center studies individuals in their social contexts through research, training, education, and outreach programs in the local community and beyond. For more information, visit


Photo: Group photo of the “First Stockbridge Congress on Child Analysis”, Austen Riggs Foundation, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, April 23-24, 1950

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