Sigmund Freud Museum receives the Austrian Museum Award 2023 (Österreichischer Museumspreis)

The 20,000 euro federal award is presented annually for outstanding achievements in the field of museum work by the Museum Advisory Board of the Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, the Civil Service, and Sport (BMKÖS).

"The person Sigmund Freud shapes and moves Vienna to this day. The Sigmund Freud Museum is a place of remembrance and commemoration and much more: It is a place of education, inspiration and a place for new ideas - a museum site of international significance," Andrea Mayer, Secretary of State for Art and Culture, states.

In its jury statement, the Museum Advisory Board of the BMKÖS, consisting of Andrea Bina, Edith Hessenberger, Monika Holzer-Kernbichler, Nadja Al Masri-Gutternig, and Niko Wahl, emphasizes:

"The contemporary exhibition design subtly maintains the link to the present. [...] Freud's practice is shown again, but not reconstructed as if the physician had just left. It is marked by a striking blank space. [...] The house communicates with the audience on many levels, including the means of art, whose development Freud influenced with his insights. Many different layers of education are used to tell the story of Sigmund Freud, his family, the house, and psychoanalysis to a scientific audience, but also to a broad public in order to make it accessible." (Excerpt from the jury's statement.)

Monika Pessler, director of the Sigmund Freud Museum, is very pleased to receive this award, "as it honors the work of the entire museum team in conveying Freud's important cultural heritage, as well as the museum activities at the 'origin of psychoanalysis' that go beyond conventional formats."

The official award ceremony will take place during the Austrian Museum Day on October 12 in Hohenems (Vorarlberg, Austria).


More about the Austrian Museum Award (Österreichischer Museumspreis)

Press release of the BMKÖS


Deutsche Version


Hertha Hurnaus: All that Remains

Sigmund Freud's practice in a limited photo edition

Please click the images for full view.


What remains of the world-famous birthplace of psychoanalysis, which Freud had to leave while fleeing - here, at Berggasse 19 in Vienna, where he treated his patients on the couch for decades, developed groundbreaking theories and revolutionized the human self-image?

An atmospheric place full of history, which the renowned architectural photographer Hertha Hurnaus captured during the renovation of the house in 2020. Freud's ordination presented itself to her as it had never been seen before: In an undisguised, intimate atmosphere and in the interplay of light and shadow, the traces of an eventful past clearly come to light. The high-quality photo series, published by the Sigmund Freud Museum in a small edition of 30 copies, opens up an exclusive tour of the heart of Berggasse 19.

In 1938, Edmund Engelman was able to photographically document Freud's practice before the furniture was packed and shipped to London. In 2020, Hertha Hurnaus now had the opportunity to record another turning point in the history of the building. In doing so, her photographs go beyond the moment: subtly they illustrate "all that remains".


Order online - Hertha Hurnaus: All that Remains

We would also be happy to show you the photo edition at a personal viewing appointment - registration under



Monika Pessler, Director of the Sigmund Freud Museum, on the edition:

In the spring of 2020, photographer Hertha Hurnaus and I toured the empty rooms of Berggasse 19, intent on capturing the essence of Sigmund Freud’s former workspace on photo. The museum’s renovation and rebuild had just been completed. Its interior, however, had not yet been furnished and, at the time, possessed an almost virginal quality save for the deliberately preserved traces of the past: exposed layers of walls and worn-down, only minimally renovated doors and windows. In both an animated exchange of words and gestures as well as silently touring the space, Hurnaus and I considered whether—despite of its emptiness or even because of it—one would be able to depict the one thing latently present and ephemerally in the air: the genius loci of the place of origin of psychoanalysis.

As an architectural photographer, Hertha Hurnaus focuses first and foremost on the characteristics of places and spaces. In doing so, her photograph of the wall, against which Freud’s storied couch stood up until his 1938 flight from the Nazis, tells a complex story: The clearly defined surfaces of the floor, walls and their recesses come together to form an abstract, illustrative geometry that underscores the presence of the absent—not unlike images in dreams, which are also characterized by “condensation” and “displacement,” light and shadow add further nuances that, like in the layering of aspects, both highlight and obscure things.

Beside the absent couch, the selection of the photographs on display also reveal doors that lead in and out of Freud’s treatment room. In one photo, we see two closely perpendicular doorways. The larger doorway used to lead to the analytical setting; the smaller jib door allowed patients to leave Freud’s practice discreetly. Like with double exposures, the subjects appear to have been shot in quick succession; the decidedly vertical composition dissecting the space, causing the spaces in between to gain significance—especially the narrow and recessed ones. The impression of concealment invoked in this way is very capable of competing with the secrets once revealed in the intimacy of this space.

In the photograph of the historic cloakroom, a narrow strip of cropped door frame on the left side of the composition suggests the possibility of entering and exiting. The passing of time cannot necessarily be discerned by the original brass hooks of the coat rack, which to this day represent the taste of the Viennese bourgeoisie, but rather by its fragile covering made of bast.

Hertha Hurnaus intently “gets to the bottom” of the origin of spaces and their associations of meanings. Tempted by the belief that spaces store their histories and origins, visualizing their atmospheres becomes her main concern. In doing so, the photographer’s attention is on the interplay between light and shadow with the built environment: For light—which in its constant state of change, molds and describes the character of architecture—has always been there, and is all that remains.


Object Names

Hertha Hurnaus, Cloakroom
Sigmund Freud Museum Vienna 2020
15,7 in x 10,5 in
numbered edition: 30 Pcs. + 3 AP*
signed and dated

Hertha Hurnaus, Doors
Sigmund Freud Museum Vienna 2020
15,7 in x 10,5 in
numbered edition: 30 Pcs. + 3 AP*
signed and dated

Hertha Hurnaus, Treatment Room
Sigmund Freud Museum Vienna 2020
10,5 in x 15,7 in
numbered edition: 30 Pcs. + 3 AP*
signed and dated


*Artist proof


Annual Award by the Society of Austrian Architects 2021

For the renovation of the Sigmund Freud Museum

We are proud to announce that on October 15, the Sigmund Freud Foundation was awarded the annual award by the Society of Austrian Architects („Bauherrenpreis“) for the successful renovation of the museum. The project planned by the architects Hermann Czech, ARTEC/Bettina Götz and Richard Manahl as well as Walter Angonese was honored at the award ceremony in Innsbruck along with five other projects.

The jury, consisting of Angelika Schnell, Roger Riewe and Peter Riepl, praised the building project : "The radiance of Sigmund Freud is subtly channeled into the urban space". (Excerpt from the report of the nomination jury)


We would like to thank all friends and supporters who made this success possible by supporting and accompanying the project. The renovation is still nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Award for Contemporary Architecture of the European Union.


Sigmund Freud Museum Renovated and Expanded

The Sigmund Freud Museum, located in Freud's former living and working rooms at Berggasse 19 in Vienna, underwent 18 months of renovation and expansion in 2019/2020 and was ceremoniously reopened by Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen on September 23, 2020.

The "birthplace of psychoanalysis", where Sigmund Freud lived and worked for almost half a century, has since presented itself with modernized and expanded museum spaces including a foyer, shop and café, with barrier-free access and a redesigned research and communication platform: Europe's largest "library of psychoanalysis".

The architectural concept was developed by Atelier Hermann Czech, ARTEC Architekten and Walter Angonese. The total costs amounted to 4 million euros were financed by the City of Vienna, the federal government of Austria, private supporters and the Sigmund Freud Foundation's own funds.



The Society of Architects of Austria has been regularly awarding the 'Bauherrenpreis' since 1967. This prize honors personalities or groups of persons who have rendered outstanding services to building culture as clients or mentors. The Sigmund Freud Foundation is one of six winners in 2021. In total, the nomination juries in the Austrian provinces made 24 nominations from 152 submissions. Learn more ...


Annual Program 2022




January 20: Leonardo - Circle for Psychoanalytic Cultural Criticism. Evening II: Psychoanalytic large group discussion in German on "Childbearing, Pregnancy, and Birth in Cultural Context" with Barbara Maier, Jutta Fiegl, Rainer Danziger, Florian Fossel, Rainer Gross and Sama Maani (in German)


February 24: Book presentation "Freud and the Emigré" with Elana Shapira, Mitchell Ash and Daniela Finzi. Moderation: Katharina Prager (in German)


March 3: Book presentation "Crudelitas. Twelve Chapters of a Discourse History of Cruelty" in German by Wolfgang Müller-Funk. Moderation: Daniela Finzi (in German)


April 7: Leonardo - Circle for Psychoanalytic Cultural Criticism. Evening III (in German)


May 4: opening of special exhibition "SURREAL! Imagining New Realities"


May 6: XLIX. Sigmund Freud Lecture by Lisa Appignanesi (in English)


May 19: Book presentation „Der heißeste Wunsch der Menschheit“ by Moritz Senarclens de Grancy and talk with Thomas Druyen. Moderation: Daniela Finzi (in German)


May 20: Workshop "Nostalgia Between Phenomenology and Psychoanalysis" with Luna Dolezal, Cathrin Fischer, Leyla Sophie Gleissner, Philippe van Haute, Dorothée Legrand, Delia Popa, Line Ryberg Ingerslev, Manu Sharma, Georg Stenger, Dylan Trigg, and Maren Wehrle (in English, with support from Sigmund Freud Foundation) (in English)


June 10 - 11: Conference "Thoughts for the Times on Groups and Masses"


Special Exhibitions


May 5 to October 16 "SURREAL! Imagining New Realities"


October 24 to January 8 "Analysis Interminable. Psychoanalytical Schools of Thought after Freud"