Freud, Berggasse 19

Originally preserved spatial structures reveal an authentic experience of the birthplace of psychoanalysis, and the various exhibits (objects, historical manuscripts, photographs) highlight the professional stations and biographical facettes of Freud’s professional and family life. Special printings, rare first editions, offprints, and presentation copies provide insights into the geneses of Freud’s theoretical work. Foreign-language (first) editions in Hungarian, Swedish, Hebrew, or Japanese, furthermore eloquently testify to the extent of the international dissemination of the psychoanalytical movement during Freud’s time.

This layer of information is in many ways closely connected to the history of each respective room: the practice of psychoanalysis and the so-called “talking cure” is addressed with the help of case histories and texts in Freud’s former treatment room. Doing so refers to the former use of the room and brings it into the present. In this vein, the spot where the psychoanalytical couch once stood remains empty. Monika Pessler explains why the museum deliberately avoided reconstructing the original room: “This void, which has existed in Freud’s treatment room since his flight from the National Socialist regime, clearly represents the dark side of history. To reconstruct a ‘world of yesterday’ (Stefan Zweig) within these rooms – i.e. a world before the March 1938 Anschluss (annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany), as if Freud’s forced exile in London never happened – would be to negate a significant part of Freud’s history and, in doing so, negate ours.”

Anna Freud’s adjacent living and practice rooms are dedicated to her work of combining psychoanalysis and pedagogy, which she performed together with her partner Dorothy Burlingham in Vienna and, after their emigration, in London. Several personal artifacts on display have been loaned from the Freud Museum London.

Following the exhibition concept, the private rooms of the Freud family are dedicated to Freud’s life as a family father and his career path as a young physician and neurologist. Objects such as hospital documents and medicinal instruments, as well as travel toiletry kits, gifts to his future wife Martha, and other personal objects provide the viewer with information on Freud’s family life, and according to Daniela Finzi, “set into motion imaginations, associations, and narratives.” Texts and manuscripts from the estate of the Freud family will be presented to the public for the first time in these rooms. Freud’s former bedroom is dedicated to the topic of The Interpretation of Dreams – listening stations furthermore provide an auditory experience of Sigmund Freud’s dreams. Original pieces of furniture have found their way into the exhibition for the first time including a dresser on permanent loan from the Freud Museum London which, along with its accompanying intarsia table, makes up part of the original, historical ensemble of the Herrenzimmer (gentlemen’s salon).

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Concept and Design: Atelier Czech/Hermann Czech and Gerhard Flora
Curators: Sigmund Freud Museum/Monika Pessler and Daniela Finzi

Participants and partners

Exhibition assistance: Johanna Frei and Nora Haas

Consulting Prined items: Arkadi Blatow

Lenders: Bibliothèque Charcot, Arkadi Blatow, Freud Museum London, Matthew Freud, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Wiener Psychoanalytische Vereinigung, Familie Toncar

Editing exhibition texts: Hermann Czech, Daniela Finzi, Gerhard Flora, Johanna Frei and Monika Pessler

Translations: Elise Feiersinger (wall texts) and Brita Pohl (showcase texts)

Lectorate german: Eva Fröhlich

Lectorate english: Maria Slater

Graphic design wall texts: Michael Neubacher

Graphic design showcases: Martha Stutteregger

Restoration and restorator's reports: Claudia Riff and Fabia Podgorschek

Book restoration: Mirjam Bazán Castaneda

Furniture restoration: Gerald Ratheyser

Photo restoration: Andreas Gruber

Showcase construction: ARTEX Museum Services

Light management: Zumtobel Licht AG

Installations: Stefan Flunger