A new online exhibition from the Harvard Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, Harvard Department of the History of Science, and the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture opens a unique window into Freud’s visual inspiration
Sigmund Freud is the influential and enigmatic founder of the psychological clinical method known as psychoanalysis. The new online exhibition "The Interpretation of Drawings: Freud & the Visual Origins of Psychoanalysis," from the Harvard Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, Harvard Department of the History of Science, and the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture, opens a unique window into Freud’s thought processes using his rarely seen drawings and collected artwork.
The virtual visitor uses the floor plan for a country house Freud dreamed of one day inhabiting as a tool to navigate stages in Freud’s life, explore the evolution of his ideas, and watch as he develops novel approaches to understanding both mind and self. We learn about Freud “the Scientist,” the “Origins of Psychoanalysis,” the inspiration behind his major text “The Interpretation of Dreams,” and how, as “the Analyst,” Freud put his ideas into practice.
Using guided interactive tours, visitors may engage with selected images of Freud’s earliest medical drawings, scientific papers, letters, and collected works of art, to uncover fascinating details, including iterations of ideas that would be worked and reworked throughout his career.
Thoughtfully layered to create an illusion that you are in the presence of Freud’s deepest analytical thoughts, The Interpretation of Drawings offers new, sometimes surprising, insights into the man and mind behind some of the most debated therapeutic techniques ever developed.
Illustration of Freud’s consulting room in Vienna produced by Harvard Museums of Science & Culture. Copyright President and Fellows of Harvard College.