April 20, 1998 (REVISED August 20, 1998) Major Freud Exhibition to Open October 15
Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189
Thursday, October 8 at 11 a.m.
Thomas Jefferson Building
10 First Street, S.E.
"Sigmund Freud: Conflict and Culture," a major exhibition tracing the influence of Freud and psychoanalysis on 20th-century culture, will open at the Library of Congress on October 15 in the Northwest Curtain of the Jefferson Building and close January 16.
Originally scheduled to open in the fall of 1996, the exhibition will have a three-month stay in Washington, and then travel to the Jewish Museum in New York and the Sigmund Freud-Museum and the Austrian National Library in Vienna. Additional venues may include California and Brazil.
The exhibition will feature more than 170 vintage photographs, prints, films, manuscript letters and documents and first editions of many publications from the Library's collection of more than 80,000 Freud items donated over the past four decades by the Sigmund Freud Archive. These materials will be supplemented with loans from the Freud Museum in London; the Sigmund Freud-Museum in Vienna; and other important collections.
"Sigmund Freud: Conflict and Culture" has been organized by the Library of Congress, in cooperation with the Sigmund Freud-Museum in Vienna and the Freud Museum, London. The curator is Michael S. Roth, Associate Director, the Getty Research Institute for the History of Art and the Humanities. A review panel of leading scholars and consultants in the fields of cultural and intellectual history and psychoanalysis helped shape the exhibition.
The exhibition is divided into three parts: "Formative Years," "The Individual: Theory & Therapy," and "From the Individual to Society." The on-line version will be available at http://www.loc.gov.
The first section will begin with Freud's formative years in late 19th-century Vienna, emphasizing points of contact between Freud's intellectual development and major political and cultural events. Highlights will include family photographs, correspondence, early work in neurology, and items documenting his early medical career.
In the second section, visitors will be introduced to the key concepts in psychoanalytic theory, such as the interpretation of dreams and repression, and will be shown how Freud used those concepts in the treatment of some of his most important patients. Highlights of this section will include manuscripts in Freud's hand, a model of Freud's consulting couch, the chair from which he conducted analytic sessions, and the death mask of the Wolf Man (one of Freud's best-known patients).
The third section will show how Freud applied his ideas of individual human psychology to understand the dynamics of society and culture. His theories of the violent origin of civilization and his understanding of the function of religion, art and science in contemporary society will be explored. Critical reception to his ideas and treatments will be addressed in this section, as well as the diffusion of Freud's ideas in professional psychoanalysis. The diversity of post-Freudian analysis will be made apparent, as will the influence of Freud's ideas in a variety of cultural arenas, from the arts to the sciences. Throughout the exhibition, a variety of objects (over 170 artifacts, approximately 180 commercial film and television clips, and selections from the popular press) will be included to demonstrate the presence of psychoanalysis in popular culture.
The exhibition will underscore the contested legacies of Freud, but also show how notions of the self, including identity, memory, repression and sexuality have been shaped in relation to his work. The Library of Congress, in cooperation with Alfred A. Knopf, is publishing a companion volume in conjunction with the exhibition that comprises a wide range of views about psychoanalysis and its place in contemporary culture. Contributors include Harold Blum, Jos Brunner, Frank Cioffi, Robert Coles, Hannah Decker, Muriel Dimen, John Forrester, Peter Gay, Ilse Grbrich- Simitis, Adolf Grnbaum, E. Ann Kaplan, Peter Kramer, Edith Kurzweil, Patrick Mahony, Michael Molnar, Michael Roth, Oliver Sacks, Art Spiegelman, and John Toews. The book will be available after October 14 for $26. The publicity contact is Jill Morrison, (212) 572-2091.
Funding for this exhibition was provided by Discovery Communications Inc.; the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Vienna; the Austrian Cultural Institute, New York; Alfred A. Knopf; the James Madison Council of the Library of Congress; the Mary S. Sigourney Award Trust, New York; Dr. & Mrs. Kenneth Altshuler; the Dana Foundation, New York; the Ministry of Science and Transport, Austria; the American Psychoanalytic Foundation; Dr. Lotte Khler; Austrian Airlines; sterreichische Lotterien; Hoffman-La Roche Inc.; the New-Land Foundation, New York; O.S. Wyatt Jr., Houston; Peter Sobolak, Vienna; and private contributions.
The exhibition is designed by Chermayeff and Geismar of New York.
The Library of Congress, in partnership with the Smithsonian Associates, is offering a subscription series of six lectures, "The Changing Self: From Sigmund Freud to Serotonin," from October 15 through December 3. The series will feature distinguished speakers on a wide variety of topics dealing with the profound influence of psychoanalysis and neuropsychiatry on our culture. Call (202) 357-3030 for reservations and information. Please refer to Code: 1F77.