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This exhibition explores Freud’s enduring fascination with Egypt evident both in his writings and in his collection of antiquities.

A painting of Oedipus’ encounter with the Sphinx famously hung beside Freud’s couch. There is a widespread understanding of Oedipus' significance to the development of Freud's thought, yet the presence of the Sphinx reminds us of the theorist's other fascination: Egyptology.

Egyptian artefacts form the largest part of Freud’s collection and they are said to have inspired his ‘archaeological metaphor’ – one of his methods for exploring the psyche and developing the practice of psychoanalysis.

This new exhibition will bring Freud into dialogue with his contemporary Flinders Petrie, the first UK Professor of Egyptology and enable us to compare their thoughts on archaeology and their respective collections of artefacts.

Exploring the themes of Egyptomania, sexuality, death and more, objects from Freud and Petrie’s own personal collections will be displayed side by side. There will also be the opportunity to see some never-before displayed Egyptian treasures from Freud’s collection up close.

Freud Museum

20 Maresfield Gardens, Hampstead, London, Greater London, NW3 5SX

020 7435 2002


Opening times

Temporarily closed

Open Mondays (12-5pm) during the summer (July – September). See for details and holiday closure dates.

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