The Freud Museum is located on Maresfield Gardens in North London. This very spacious detached house was the final home of Sigmund Freud. An Austrian neurologist and most famously founder of Psychoanalysis.
Freud and his family moved into this rented property on the 27th September 1938 where he remained until his death on the 23rd September 1939 aged 83. After his death the house remained occupied with his wife Martha Freud, his sister in law, daughter Anna and their housekeeper.
His daughter Anna Freud’s last wishes were for the house to be turned into a museum chronicling her father’s life and works. Anna Freud died in 1982 and her wish granted, the Freud Museum was opened to the public in July 1986.
Sigmund Freud came to London in 1938, after fleeing Nazi-occupied Vienna and briefly lived in house in Elsworth Road nearby before moving into this house.
Freud was able to bring with him his much-loved collection of antiques and extensive library of books recreating his study/consulting room much the same as it had been in Vienna, his original home of 47 years.
The study is packed with his antiques mainly bought from dealers in Vienna and transported here when he came to London. Most originating from Rome, Ancient Greece, Egypt and the Orient. He had a passion for collecting and visited many archaeological sites over the years.
Sigmund Freud’s famous Psychoanalytic couch is now one of the most Iconic pieces of furniture in the world. Currently displayed at the museum this famous piece of furniture was given to him by one of his patients, Madam Benvenisti around 1890. Patients would like on the couch and Freud would sit in the green tub chair deliberately out of sight. He once exclaimed to Hann’s Sachs “I cannot let myself be stared at for eight hours daily”
I was most intrigued by his unusual looking armchair at his desk. It was specially made for him in 1930 by an architect called Felix Augenfeld, as a gift from one of his daughters Mathilde. Apparently Freud had a habit of reading in unusual and uncomfortable positions and this armchair was designed to maintain his habitual posture making sitting down reading far more comfortable for him.
This iconic desk in the photo is his original desk and back in the day was filled to the brim with an array of writing impliments, smoking paraphernalia and antique figurines.
This study and Library was preserved by Freud’s Daughter after his death and is exactly as he left it.
You cannot help but notice the large collection of books lining the bookshelves. Freud was an avid reader and his favourite authors include Shakespeare, Heine, Flaubert, Geoth and Anatoe France.
The library of books cover a wide range of subjects including History, Archaeology, Philosophy, Literature, Medicine, Psychology and Psychoanalysis.
Most of the books on display are the ones he chose to bring with him from Vienna.
Sigmund Freud completed his life and work in this house and it offers a unique insight into him and of Psychoanalysis.
A theatre is located on the first floor to which I had the great opportunity watching a film of him and his family.
The museum’s gift shop is located on the ground floor selling a host of memorabilia, souvenirs, gifts and books.
I fully recommend the hiring the audio guide. You are loaned a small device with headphones which gives you an informative audio tour guide of the rooms.