Five Things You Have To See At The Freud Museum

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By M@ Last edited 36 months ago
Five Things You Have To See At The Freud Museum

Sigmund Freud spent the final year of his life living at 20 Maresfield Gardens, on the slopes of Hampstead Hill. The psychoanalyst's home, also that of his daughter Anna, is today preserved for posterity and open to the public as a museum.

And there's never been a better time to visit. Right now, the house has been taken over by a Festival of the Unconscious, with specially commissioned artwork dotted throughout the rooms. At one point, Freud's study is bathed in projections of stars and planets, in a reverse (though appropriately unconscious) nod to this episode of Star Trek.

The museum's permanent displays also contain many riches. We asked the curators to pick out five objects of particular merit. Click the gallery below to see what they chose.

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Dali’s portrait of Freud: Dali sketched Freud in his London home in 1938. He apparently exclaimed ‘Freud’s cranium is a snail! His brain is in the form of a spiral – to be extracted with a needle!’ The portrait now hangs on the landing of the Freud Museum.
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The Baboon of Thoth: This Egyptian baboon god sits on Freud’s desk. His housekeeper noted that Freud was in the habit of stroking the marble baboon while he was thinking and talking.
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The Egyptian Mummy masks: Freud collected several coffin masks from Egyptian mummy tombs. The painted faces and glass eyes give them an uncanny appearance fit for Freud’s study.
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The phallic amulets: Freud was a collector of Greek and Roman antiquities. He amassed a huge collection of decorative phallic objects. Many have loop holes and were designed to hang in doorways, from ceilings, or even on belt loops for good luck and to attract love. Now they are displayed in one of the Freud Museum's glass cabinets.
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The Couch: Freud’s iconic psychoanalytic couch was given to him as a gift of a patient, Madame Benveniste, in 1891. It remained his most famous possession and now takes pride of place in his former study in the Freud Museum.

The Freud Museum is open Wed-Sun, noon till 5pm, with additional Monday opening during the summer. See website for details. Entrance is £7 (£5 senior, £4 concessions, free to under-12s). Entry ticket includes access to the Festival of the Unconscious.

Address: The Freud Museum 20 Maresfield Gardens, London NW3 5SX

Last Updated 19 August 2015