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The Wolf Man Paints!

Featuring drawings and paintings by Sigmund Freud's famous patient Sergius Pankejeff

Values


Fields of Knowledge
  • Aesthetics / Media
  • Artistic legacies
  • Curatorial practice
  • Pedagogy
  • Philosophy / Theory

Organizing Institutions

Slought

Contributing Institutions

University of Pennsylvania Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures

Organizers

Liliane Weissberg

Contributors

Isabel Suchanek, Melanie Adley

Opens to public

11/18/2010

Address

Slought
4017 Walnut
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Economy

75% Formal - 25% Informal

Slought is pleased to present The Wolf Man Paints! an unprecedented exhibition of drawings and paintings by Sigmund Freud's famous patient Sergius Pankejeff, on display from November 18, 2010 through January 22, 2011. The exhibit provides insight into Pankejeff's art, offers a history of his life and life as a patient, and documents a chapter in the history of psychoanalysis.

Freud first published his famous case study of Pankejeff in 1918, naming him the "Wolf Man" in allusion to a dream he had repeatedly of a tree populated with wolves, which instigated Freud's theory of a "primal scene." Pankejeff, who was ultimately supported financially by Freud as well as members of the psychoanalytic organization, became in time something of a professional patient, offering autographs, and writing his own recollections of his therapy with Freud.

Freud first published his famous case study of Pankejeff in 1918, naming him the "Wolf Man" in allusion to a dream he had repeatedly of a tree populated with wolves, which instigated Freud's theory of a "primal scene." Pankejeff, who was ultimately supported financially by Freud as well as members of the psychoanalytic organization, became in time something of a professional patient, offering autographs, and writing his own recollections of his therapy with Freud.

Two of Pankejeff's paintings are well-known and reproduced; a painting of the aforementioned dream he gave to Freud, as well as a self-portrait. A couple of years ago, curator Liliane Weissberg discovered that these known paintings were part of a rather large artistic production that is largely unknown to a general public. Muriel Gardiner, a psychoanalyst trained in Vienna who eventually worked in New Jersey, encouraged Pankejeff to paint, and bought some of the paintings herself, while giving away others to Philadelphia psychoanalysts. These works, often sold for a pittance, were viewed more as souvenirs of Freud's famous patient than as works of art. Other paintings were bought by Viennese institutions, or analysts who approached Pankejeff directly. The largest collection of Pankejeff's work is deposited together with his papers in the Freud Archives at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. As an organization based in Philadelphia, Slought Foundation is pleased to record this local history through the exhibition.

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Sergius Pankejeff (1887-1979) was one of Freud's best known patients, and certainly his longest one. A Russian aristocrat, Pankejeff traveled to Vienna and first visited Freud in 1910. Though Pankejeff was 23 years of age, well educated and fluent in foreign languages, he was unable to care for himself. Freud's treatment of Pankejeff began with his visits to a sanatorium outside the city center, and continued in Freud's office at the Berggasse 19. His first analysis with Freud ended in 1914 when Pankejeff traveled to Russia to visit his family. Pankejeff was unable to return to Vienna until 1919, after WWI and the Russian Revolution, during which he and his family had lost their fortune. At this time, Pankejeff resumed his analysis with Freud, and became a "ward" of the Viennese psychoanalytic organization.

Freud published the case study of Pankejeff in 1918, naming him the "Wolf Man" in allusion to one of his dreams. Following his second analysis with Freud, Pankejeff became a patient of Ruth Mack Brunswick, a former student of Freud's who also wrote a case study of her therapy with him. After World War II, Pankejeff continued to be analyzed by Kurt Eissler, then director of the Freud Archives, and Muriel Gardiner, who trained with Brunswick. She recorded her experiences with the "Wolf Man" as well, in an almost comprehensive account of his analyses entitled The Wolf-Man by the Wolf-Man (1971) the proceedings thereof served the patient's further support.

Film Program

A series of film screenings will accompany the exhibition. These include film viewings related to Freud and Gardiner, who is also known today as a prominent person of the WWII resistance, depicted as "Julia" in Lillian Hellman's Pentimento. Each film will be introduced by film scholars from the University of Pennsylvania and the exhibition curators, with film-appropriate refreshments served.

Julia (dir. Fred Zinnemann, 1977), on December 14, 2010 at 6:30pm. Introduced by James English.

Secrets of a Soul/Geheimnisse einer Seele (dir. G.W. Pabst, 1926), on January 13, 2011 at 6:30pm. Introduced by Simon Richter.

Freud (dir. John Huston, 1962), on January 20, 2011 at 6:30pm. Introduced by Timothy Corrigan.

Symposium on the Wolf Man

A symposium on November 18th, 2010 at Slought beginning at 7pm, and presented as part of the "Freud, Franklin and Beyond" panel series co-sponsored by the Penn Department of Psychiatry and the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia, will further explore this history. Speakers will include members who knew Gardiner and acquired the paintings from her, alongside reflections by scholars on the "Wolf Man" and his art:

— Robert Jütte, Professor of History of Science, Robert Bosch Foundation and Universitaet Stuttgart

— Sidney Pulver, M.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania

— Isabel Suchanek, Doctoral Candidate, University of Pennsylvania

— Paul Jay Fink, M.D., Psychoanalyst, Philadelphia

Moderated by Liliane Weissberg, Professor of German and Comparative Literature, University of Pennsylvania

Symposium on Celebrity Patients

A symposium on January 19th, 2011 at Slought Foundation beginning at 7pm, and presented as part of the "Freud, Franklin and Beyond" panel series co-sponsored by the Penn Department of Psychiatry and the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia, will explore how the treatment of celebrity patients can prompt a variety of concerns for both patient and practitioner.

Along with the ethical and privacy issues involved in studying well-known patients and their clinical care, there are a variety of potential effects of celebrity and notoriety on clinical mental health care. Matters of entitlement, maintenance of boundaries, and countertransference temptations are just a few of the issues that treatment of celebrities may bring to the fore. The participants on this panel will examine these matters from a variety of disciplines that will include cultural, historical, and psychodynamic perspectives as they discuss the complex social, clinical, and media influences on the perception of celebrity patients. Speakers include:

— Arthur Caplan, Center for Bioethics, University of Pennsylvania

— Max Cavitch, Department of English, University of Pennsylvania

— Frederick Fisher, Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia

— Sharrona Pearl, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania

— Katherine Sender, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania

Moderated by Jean-Michel Rabaté, Senior Curator for Discursive Projects, Slought

This program was made possible in part through the generous sponsorship of the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia, and, at the University of Pennsylvania, the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures; the Department of History of Art; the Department of Psychiatry; the Scholars Program in Culture and Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication; the Department of English; the Department of Slavic Languages and Literature; the Program in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory; the Cinema Studies Program; The Alice Paul Center for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality; the Department of Anthropology; and the SAS Dean's Office Fund.

Special thanks to the Members of the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia; Harold Blum, Director of the Freud Archives; Carol Seigel, Director of the Freud Museum, London; the Staff of the Manuscript Archives, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; and the Staff of the University of Pennsylvania Libraries.