History, art and culture
Matthew Pearson

Freud Museum: FAQs

What is the Freud Museum?

The Freud Museum is a London museum dedicated to the famous Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud. It’s located in the 20 Maresfield Gardens address where Freud lived during the last year of his life. He’d come to London with his family following the Nazi annexation of Austria. His youngest daughter, Anna Freud, a pioneer in the field of child therapy, lived in the house until her death in 1982. The museum opened four years later. [caption id="attachment_3512" align="alignnone" width="776"]


I had a dream about the Freud Museum last night. What does it mean?

It probably means you should think about going to the Freud Museum.

I also have a recurring dream where I’m falling and falling and falling. Then I land in a mock-up of the United Nations. Everyone’s there. All the leaders, all the big guns. Except their heads are replaced with cabbages. And I can sense my mum’s presence. I can’t see her, I just know she’s there somewhere. Then the Portuguese Cabbage Head stand up and starts berating the Swiss Cabbage Head. I stand up and ask what’s wrong, why the Portuguese is so angry with the Swiss and then Ghana tells me it’s because he’s chard work. Then I wake up. What does it mean?

I don’t know about that one. It sounds like the makings of a pretty crummy joke. Maybe you’ll find out at the Freud Museum.

What can I see at the Freud Museum?

A particular highlight is one of the most revolutionary couches -

Does it turn into a bed?

No, it -

Mine turns into a bed.

That’s nice, no this couch -

Is it the one off Friends?

No. Any more guesses?

None. I’m out.

A particular highlight of the Freud Museum is one of the most revolutionary couches in world history: the couch on which Freud’s Viennese patients would lie during their sessions. It’s the birthplace of the free-associative developed by Freud as a way of gaining uncensored entry into the unconscious processes of a client’s mind. [caption id="attachment_3513" align="alignnone" width="1024"]


What else will I see during a visit to the Freud Museum?

You’ll find out a great deal about the man and his work, through informative displays across the house. His study is made up just as he left it, so you can discover the great works of literature and history which inspired Freud’s techniques and theories. Some particularly interesting artworks, hung by the man himself, tie in with his work in fascinating ways. Freud’s collection of over 2000 Ancient Greek, Egyptian, Roman and Oriental artefacts provide another enlightening route into the man’s mind and another perspective on his work. His daughter’s life and work is covered as well, showing her influence on the field of child therapy and covering the relationship she had with her dad and his work. A rolling exhibition space puts on exhibitions devoted to history, contemporary art, myth and many other diverse aspects of culture. All exhibitions relate to the work of Sigmund Freud in imaginative and interesting ways, creating a dialogue between psychology and other scientific or cultural pursuits in the home of one of the 20th century’s great thinkers.

When can I visit the Freud Museum?

Wednesday to Sunday every week. During summer, the Freud Museum is also open on Mondays. Each day that it’s open, it unlocks its doors at 12pm and locks up at 5pm.

How much does it cost to visit the Freud Museum?

Entry for an adult is £9. Concessions (Students, Over 60s, UK unemployed and disabled persons) get in for £7. Those between the ages of 12 and 16 can come in for a fiver. And anything under 12 gets in for free. But entry for those with the London Pass is absolutely 100% free.

Are there any accessibility issues I should be aware of?

Yes. There is no lift going to the first floor. However, resources are available for those who can’t get upstairs. These include a laptop showing the video that is shown in the upstairs video room, printed information on Anna Freud, a family tree and more info about the upstairs rooms. Unfortunately, there are currently no accessible toilets. And if, as a wheelchair user, you need a parking space, you should call ahead to reserve a spot. [caption id="attachment_3514" align="alignnone" width="1024"]


Can I get an audio guide?

Yes you can. Audio guides are available for £3 and are in English, German, Italian, Portuguese, French and Spanish.

How do I get to the Freud Museum?

If you’re heading by tube or overground, you’ve got plenty of options. Finchley Road is the closest station to the Freud Museum. It’s just a five minute walk away. It is served by both the Metropolitan and Jubilee lines. Hampstead is just a little further away and is on the Northern Line. It takes about 10 minutes to walk from Hampstead to the Freud Museum. Finchley Road & Frognal is also 10 minutes walk from the museum, and that is served by the London Overground. If you want to come by bus, it’s best to stop at Finchley Road. Buses 13, 113, 187, 168 and C11 stop there. It’s probably best to avoid coming by car if at all possible. But if you need to, you’ll find some pay and display parking at the south end of Maresfield Gardens and also on Nutley Terrace. As mentioned above, disabled visitors are welcome to park at the museum itself, but you’ll have to give them a call in advance to reserve a parking place.

Are there any events held at the Freud Museum?

Yes there are. Check on their website for details of what’s coming up. But just as a little taste, previous contributors to their events and conferences programmes have included Jacques Derrida, Grayson Perry, Edward Said, Slavoj Žižek and Susie Orbach.

And finally, can you please explain to me what the Pleasure Principle is?

Well, I’m a little rusty, but I think it’s got something to do with getting a London Pass, going to the Freud Museum for free, then feeling a large amount of pleasure. In principle, anyway.

That doesn’t sound right.

No. But I told you I was rusty. [caption id="attachment_3515" align="alignnone" width="1024"]

freud.org.uk[/caption] Looking for more attractions relating to big 20th century figures? Have a look here.

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