Freud: Art Junk Junkie

There’s an awesome review of Janine Burke’s THE GODS OF FREUD over at the TLS. Freud collected art and little statues compulsively. “In his Viennese consulting room at Berggasse 19, seated behind his patients, listening to their free associations, his eyes were free to wander.”

His therapy was shopping for his treasures. No trip – especially to his beloved Rome – was complete without the purchase of a small ancient trophy. In New York in 1909, while making his only American journey, he not only visited the Metropolitan Museum’s collection of Grecian vases but went shopping at Tiffany’s and bought a jade bowl and a bronze bust of Buddha. As the years went by, he could hardly rise from his desk for the press of objects and he rearranged them endlessly. Even when he left Vienna for his summer homes, he would take the bulk of his collection with him.

The review also has a creepy and cool description of a dream Freud once had about his mother, and how when he woke up he related it to Ancient Egyptian art (at the age of 8!). Most of his treasure-buying happened while he was writing Interpretation of Dreams. When Freud had to flee Vienna in 1928, his collection was undervalued (by a friend) and he was able to take it to London with him. I want to read this.

One thought on “Freud: Art Junk Junkie

  1. Hi Rockslinga

    I hope you get hold of my book – it’s available online at amazon and at Freud Museum London.

    Janine Burke

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