Contact: Jill Brett (202) 707-2905
View the exhibition online.

February 27, 1996

Library Schedules Freud Exhibition for 1998

The Library of Congress today said its exhibition "Sigmund Freud: Conflict and Culture" would open in the autumn of 1998.

The exhibition, originally slated for autumn 1996, was postponed last December because at that point all the necessary private funds had not yet been raised.

In announcing the new date, James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress, said: "This postponement has been erroneously characterized in the media either as a cancellation or as a response to outside controversy over the show's content. It was, in fact, nothing more than a postponement due to inadequate funding. We have always had full confidence in the integrity and scholarship of the curator, the organizers, and the advisers."

The guest curator of the exhibition, Dr. Michael Roth, said he was pleased with the 1998 opening date. From California, where he is professor of European history at the Claremont Graduate School, he said: "This exhibition will draw attention to the extraordinary collection of materials at the Library of Congress and underscore their importance by examining Freud's enormous cultural impact in our century. As the Library uses this additional time to raise the funds necessary for the exhibition, the exhibit team will continue to work toward integrating the widest possible range of scholarly viewpoints into our planning process. I look forward to continuing my work with the distinguished scholars and writers who are contributing to the conceptualization of the exhibition or to its catalog."

Among others, Dr. Oliver Sacks, well-known author and neurologist, has announced his intention to write an essay for the catalog. In an interview printed in the January 5 issue of Psychiatric News, Dr. Sacks said he wanted the exhibition to go forward and "bridled at being linked to the angry anti-Freudians. No one who knows me could imagine me as an anti-Freudian, and 'denouncing' is completely foreign to me.... I would regard it as a responsibility and also a pleasure" to write an essay for the catalog. "I also think of Freud as a great originator and one of the fathers of this century's culture and thought."

"Sigmund Freud: Conflict and Culture," like most Library of Congress exhibitions, is designed to present a major Library collection to a broad audience. The Library of Congress has the world's largest Freud archives. Materials by and about Freud under consideration for the show include some of the approximately 45,000 manuscripts in the Freud collection, the bulk of which are unrestricted, and related items from the Library's holdings of rare books, films, maps, and photographs.

The exhibition will explore the spread of Freud's influence and of psychoanalytic thinking throughout 20th-century culture and how and why this legacy is contested.

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PR 96-33
ISSN 0731-3527

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