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Anna Freud’s Weaving

I attended a conference at the Freud Museum in London, “Freud Today/Freud Tomorrow,” at the Anna Freud Center, a few doors down from the lovely Freud Museum.  The museum is in the London home to which Freud escaped from Vienna in 1838, a year before his death in 1939.  Here is the most famous couch in the world. It is surrounded by books, archaeological figures (whole crowds of them), and rich, patterned textiles.

A great chair.

Anna Freud, the youngest of Sigmund Freud’s six children, was the only one to follow in his psychoanalytic footsteps.  She expanded on his teachings, and published pioneering work on child analysis. She kept her father’s study just as it was during the next 40 years she lived in the house.  She did not inherit his opulent style, however; her analytic couch seems so modest in comparison, covered in a brown knitted cover.  The pillows are woven in natural colors, modest in technique and muted in tone.

Anna Freud was a weaver!  The museum signage noted, “As Sigmund Freud used archaeology as a metaphor for psychoanalysis and the uncovering of ‘layers,’ Anna often used weaving metaphors to describe the development of the mind.” On the other hand, her father thought her weaving covered a “genital deficiency.” Weaving calmed her and helped her to concentrate, and she sometimes composed lectures while weaving.

Did she weave the fabric on these pillows? I may reproduce the fabric on the brown-and-white one.

My London trip is not one focused on textiles, but they always show up, don’t they?


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