Freud Museum London Review: Homeboy and I were meeting up with a few family members in Finchley so decided to pop into the Freud Museum London while we were in the vicinity. I studied Psychology at college and university so was intrigued to see Freud’s famous analytic couch and his former home at 20 Maresfield Gardens, Hampstead London NW3. If you’re interested in Sigmund Freud or Psychoanalysis, you’ll enjoy visiting.
Freud Museum London Background
Freud is the founder of psychoanalysis and Anna Freud (his daughter), is the child psychoanalysis pioneer. Both resided at this property which is now a museum. Look out for the two blue plaques on the front of the substantial suburban house, one is for Sigmund, and the other is for Anna.
The Freud family arrived in England as refugees from the Nazi annexation of Austria in March 1938. The works of Freud were set alight in Germany, and after harassment, he had no choice but to move from his home at Berggasse 19, Vienna to London.
Freud’s son, Ernest, and the housekeeper, Paula Fichtl, recreated his Vienna working environment in the house at 20 Maresfield Gardens so he could continue his work. Freud passed away a year after moving into the home, but his wife, Matha, continued living in the property with Minna Bernays (sister in law). Anna (daughter) lived in the house until her death in 1982. She wanted the home to become a museum, so it opened to the public in 1986. Anna had kept her father’s study and library pretty much as her father had left them.
Freud Museum London House Guide
Enter through the front door, walk towards the back of the ground floor through the hall and the dining room. The ticket office is situated overlooking the garden. You will find a gift shop located here selling books, cards and unusual Freud inspired objects. Once you’ve purchased your tickets, you can explore the house at your own pace.
Freud Books in Gift Shop
The most exciting part of the home is on the ground floor, and you can see the famous Freud analytic couch, transported from Vienna. The couch is smaller than I thought it would be and draped in a tapestry pattern cover with a few cushions placed on top. Behind the analytic couch is the chair where Freud would sit listening to his patients.
Freud’s Analytic Couch
Next to the couch is Freud’s desk where you can imagine him working.
In the Study and Front Room, you’ll notice is that there are many fascinating artefacts and antiquities from archaeology sites in Greece, Rome, Eygpt and further afield.
Artefacts and Antiquities
The shelves have books from Freud’s home in Vienna. The subject matter includes archaeology to philosophy, literature and history. His favourite authors and poets are also displayed. The curtains are drawn, which is probably to protect the items in the room. It’s dark inside yet atmospheric.
The rest of the museum is on the sparse side and would benefit from interior styling to give it more depth and make it more appealing. Upstairs is the Anna Freud room which shows aspects of her work. You will see her analytic couch and some original furniture.
Anna Freud’s Room
Take time to watch a short film about Freud in the Video Room. Check out the Exhibition Room, which was showing The Uncanny Exhibition when we visited in December 2019. You will see various portraits and statues of Freud as you explore his former home.
Freud Museum London Information
The Freud Museum is a must for anyone studying Freud at college or university. It’s a lovely thing to do if you are in the area and have an hour to spare. To find out more visit the Freud Museum London Website. The address is 20 Maresfield Gardens, London NW3 5SX. The nearest stations are Finchley Road, West Hampstead, South Hampstead and Belsize Park. Opening times are Wednesday to Sunday from 12 noon until 5 pm. Entrance fees are £10 for adults with concessions and a 50% discount if you are a National Trust member. Enjoy your visit.
Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: Homegirl London. Thanks: Homeboy for visiting with me.