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Ernst L. Freud, Architect
The Case of the Modern Bourgeois Home
Volker M. Welter
230 pages, 99 illus., 5 tables, bibliog., index
ISBN 978-0-85745-233-7 $39.95/£31.95 Pb Published (October 2011)
eISBN 978-0-85745-234-4 eBook
“If one wants a fascinating, impeccably researched, and carefully documented image of less-well-known aspects of the early history of psychoanalysis, including the development and design of the two public psychoanalytic clinics in Berlin, all accompanied by plentiful pictures and descriptions…then this book should satisfy well. And there is more to recommend it…. Ernst Freudis not only an important contribution to a revised and more differentiated history of modern Weimar architecture; it also offers an enhanced picture of the early years of psychoanalysis, including the role played by the son of the father of psychoanalysis.” · Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association
“This monograph provides a useful record of Ernst Freud’s life and career based on meticulous research. It also succeeds in revising our understanding of the development of modern bourgeois homes. Freud’s domestic works affirmed traditional bourgeois lifestyle while incorporating features from a progressive vision of modern life. He managed to achieve modernity in bourgeois homes without cutting their connection to the past, a legacy that is still relevant today.” · W 86th
“…[I]nnovative and very rich in new perspectives on European domestic architecture after WWI. As well as revealing the life and work of a little known architect with a famous family name, it discusses major theoretical questions of an overlooked aspect in twentieth-century architecture: the bourgeois home (contrary to social mass-housing).” · Edina Meyer-Maril, Tel Aviv University
“The book is an important contribution to the history of architecture—by raising awareness of this one fascinating architect, whose work is curiously minimized in the scholarship on modern architecture, Welter not only makes significant contributions to the roster, he also advances the ongoing reassessment of architectural modernism (as a style) and modernity (as a phenomenon).” · Karen Koehler, Hampshire College
Ernst L. Freud (1892–1970) was a son of Sigmund Freud and the father of painter Lucian Freud and the late Sir Clement Freud, politician and broadcaster. After his studies in Munich and Vienna, where he and his friend Richard Neutra attended Adolf Loos’s private Bauschule, Freud practiced in Berlin and, after 1933, in London. Even though his work focused on domestic architecture and interiors, Freud was possibly the first architect to design psychoanalytical consulting rooms—including the customary couches—a subject dealt with here for the first time. By interweaving an account of Freud’s professional and personal life in Vienna, Berlin, and London with a critical discussion of selected examples of his domestic architecture, interior designs, and psychoanalytic consulting rooms, the author offers a rich tapestry of Ernst L. Freud’s world. His clients constituted a “Who’s Who” of the Jewish and non-Jewish bourgeoisie in 1920s Berlin and later in London, among them the S. Fischer publisher family, Melanie Klein, Ernest Jones, the Spenders, and Julian Huxley. While moving within a social class known for its cultural and avant-garde activities, Freud refrained from spatial, formal, or technological experiments. Instead, he focused on creating modern homes for his bourgeois clients.
Volker M. Welter is an architectural historian who has studied and worked in Germany, Scotland, and England. Currently he is Associate Professor in the Department of the History of Art & Architecture, University of California, Santa Barbara. His research interests include domestic architecture, modern and contemporary Western architecture, architectural philosophy and theory, and the debate about the modern city. He has been awarded a Senior Research Grant from the Getty, Los Angeles, a Senior Fellowship of the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, London/Yale University, and a visiting scholar fellowship at the Centre Canadien d’Architecture/Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montréal. His publications include Biopolis-Patrick Geddes and the City of Life (MIT Press, 2002), and articles in academic journals, including Israel Studies and the Oxford Art Journal