Sigmund Freud, who doesn’t know him? The Freud Museum at 20 Maresfield Gardens in Hampstead was the home of the famous psychoanalyst and his family after escaping the Nazi’s annexation of Austria in 1938 and remained in the family until his youngest daughter, Anna Freud, died in 1982. It was her wish that the house should be turned into a museum, and as such it was opened to the public on July 1986.
The museum is a member of the London Museums of Health and Medicine and organizes research and publication programs, as well as seminars, conferences and educational visits. The ground floor houses Freud’s study, including the infamous sofa: a symbol of his free association techniques that revolutionized the field. The room is preserved just as it was during his lifetime and contains a range of remarkable antiques – almost 2,000 Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Oriental objects decorate the walls and surfaces. On this floor you can also find his library (filled with his favorite authors such as Goethe and Shakespeare. Freud allegedly believed the arts could give insight in the human psyche that therapy could only approach systematically), the main hall and the dining room. This is where you will find the museum’s shop, if you want to take some memorabilia home.
On the first floor you will find a video room, Anna Freud’s room and a temporary exhibition room in which rotating contemporary shows are curated that explore Freudian and psychoanalytic theory in art, film, and literature. Famous artists like Sophie Calle and Louise Bourgeois have exhibited specialized works here, responding to the house and its history through their art. Don’t miss the photo library for a rare insight in Freud’s personal photographs, portraying his house, family life and personal interests. Doing research? The museum keeps a vast research collection, including personal libraries from Dr. Freud himself and Anna Freud, and a vast collection of literature that focuses on the history, theory and culture of psychoanalysis.
After all this, have a wander through the beautiful garden, which is kept much as it was during Freud’s lifetime!
Learn more about the Freud Museum on their Love Camden organisation page!