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Sigmund Freud Statue

In Memory of Sigmund Freud
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80 years after Sigmund Freud was forced to leave Vienna on 4th June 1938, the Medical University of Vienna unveiled an over live-sized sculpture of Freud created by Oscar Nemon in 1936.

As the successor to Freud´s academic workplace throughout his time in Vienna, the Medical University of Vienna is honoured to preserve the memory of one of its most significant thinkers, Sigmund Freud.

Sculptured Freud by Oscar Nemon

Until he was forced into exile in London in 1938, founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), was a member of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Vienna. Oscar Nemon (1906-1985) first sculpted Freud in 1931 for his 75th birthday, creating the carved wooden bust now on display in the Freud Museum in London. Freud found this “an astonishingly life-like impression.”

A friendship developed, and five years later, in 1936, Nemon was commissioned to create a full-length, seated portrait for Freud’s eightieth birthday. Originally intended for the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society, this was never installed in Austria due to the Anschluss. Nemon’s 1936 Freud portrait, which stands 70cm high, was however unveiled at the New York Psychoanalytic Society in 1947. Nemon enlarged his portrait to create an over life-size, 1.7m high, seated Freud. Following heroic efforts by Donald Winnicott, this was cast in bronze in 1970 and sited near Freud’s final home in Hampstead in London.

For more details about Oscar Nemon please visit

Sigmund Freud sculpture [► YouTube]

„I think this is the best assignment I have ever had, being allowed to model Professor Freud. When I first met Professor Freud, I was surprised and taken aback, realising what a difference there was between the live figure of the great scholar and his likeness in a photograph. In the photos his face is too professorial, perhaps even rough, in the sense of weight, heavy. In reality it is very gentle, with gentle bones, lively, in the sense of temperament, I would say it is restless. The whole head looks French, the same we often see in busts by Rodin. I want to emphasise this. There are clear Rodinesque characteristics. It is not about real sitting. Professor Freud appears, I see him a quarter of an hour at most, and he is gone again. But that is the most important thing: to see the whole man, not just the details. When I go back to Brussels I mean to make the bust of Freud. His movements are extremely characteristic, they are fast, spontaneous, tense. I have partially already sketched them. I shall do the bust in bronze and marble. The finishing touches will be put to it in Brussels, away from the subject”  

Oscar Nemon

Piero Rosmondo, “Freud als model”, Wiener Allgemeine Zeitung, August 5, 1931. (Oscar Nemon Archive, Collection Reference: 2004.21, Box 4, Scrapbooks, HMI Archive).

Unveiling ceremony

  • Markus Müller
    Rector of the Medical University of Vienna
  • Heinz Faßmann
    Federal Minister of Education, Science, and Research
  • Michael Ludwig (to be confirmed)
    Major of the City of Vienna
  • Lord David Freud
    Great-grandson of Sigmund Freud; Member of the House of Lords, United Kingdom

Afterwards reception at the Statue – drinks and finger food.

Attention new Venue

Van-Swieten-Saal, Van-Swieten-Gasse 1a, 1090 Wien
Moderator: Stephan Doering

Session 1 – 13:00-14:30
Sigmund Freud – Oscar Nemon – Vienna – Cultural Theory

  • Welcome Address
    Raimund Fastenbauer

    General Secretary for Jewish Affairs, Jewish Community Vienna
  • Freud, Nemon, and the Freud Sculpture
    Lady Aurelia Young

    Daughter of Oscar Nemon
  • History and Future Orientation: Berggasse 19
    Monika Pessler

    Director of the Sigmund Freud Museum Vienna
  • Freud's Hands and what they might Tell
    Ulrike Kadi

    Department of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy,
    Medical University of Vienna, Vienna Psychoanalytic Association, WAP
  • Late Freud's Experiences: The Permanent Value of his Scientific and Human Legacy
    Giovanni Battista Foresti

    Board Member of the International Psychoanalytical Association, IPA
Coffee Break

Session 2 – 15:00-17:00
Sigmund Freud, Psychoanalysis, and the University

  • Freud and the Development of Psychoanalysis in Vienna
    Hemma Rössler-Schülein

    President of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society, WPV
  • Psychoanalysis and the University
    Otto F. Kernberg

    Past President of the International Psychoanalytical Association; Director Personality Disorders Institute, Cornell University New York
  • An International Contemporary Perspective on Psychoanalysis at the University
    Jorge Canestri

    President of the European Federation of Psychoanalysis, EPF
  • Psychoanalysis at the Medical University of Vienna Today
    Stephan Doering

    Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, Medical University of Vienna

Reception and free admission to all exhibitions from 17:30 on.

Host: Monika Pessler
Director of the Sigmund Freud Museum Vienna



Unveiling ceremony of the Sigmund Freud sculpture at the campus of the MedUni Vienna [►YouTube]

The Freud-Bronce was funded by the Medical University of Vienna,
the benefactors Wiener Psychoanalytische Vereinigung and Christian Andreas Plass,
and the donors European Psychoanalytical Federation, International Psychoanalytical Association,

Amber Privatstiftung, Christoph Binder, Gertie F. Bögels, Gea Bösch & Peter Schraivogel, Andrea & Oscar Bronner, Lisa & Stephan Doering, Margarita & Michael Freissmuth, Lord David Freud, Institute of Psychoanalysis London, Nestor D. Kapusta, Melanie Klein Trust London, Anneli Menninger & Kurt Graulich, Jürgen Pelikan, Raiffeisen Bank International AG, Hemma Rössler-Schülein & Johann Schülein, Elisabeth Skale, Lady Aurelia Young, Christoph Zielinski,

Thomas C. Bender, Gabriella Benecke, Angelika Berger, Ilia Borovikov, Anna-Bernadette Breves, Michael Buchholz, Marco Conci, Richard Crevenna, Croatian Psychoanalytic Society, Gerhard Dammann, Deutsche Psychoanalytische Gesellschaft, Gertraud Diem-Wille, Susanne Färber, Elfriede M. Fidal, Finnish Psychoanalytic Association, Hella Goldfein, Sonia Grassberger, Groupe Lecture Freud BY/Belgique, Janet Haney, Gavril Hercz, Johannes Hohenauer, Institut für Psychotherapie Berlin, International Psychoanalytic University Berlin, Charles Jenkins, Martin Jost, Gabriele Kehr, Otto Kernberg & Catherine Haran, Sylvia Knapp, Rupert Königswieser, Lady Rosa Lipworth, Klaus Markstaller, Jutta Matzner-Eicke, Jane McAdam Freud, Friedrich A. Mir Shamshiri, Moscow Psychoanalytic Society, Gabriele Moser, Ariel Muzicant, Österreichische Gesellschaft für angewandte Tiefenpsychologie und Psychotherapie, Bruno Podesser, Psychoanalytisches Institut Basel, Portuguese Psychoanalytic Society, Alfred Rink, Christa Rohde-Dachser, Gerd Schmithüsen, Timothy R. Skern, Alice Smolen, Thomas & Cornelia Sporner, Johannes Stockinger, Bernhard Strauß, Helen & Clive Taylor Robinson, Shahrokh F. Shariat, Rainer Thell and Sabine Hölzl, Jürgen Thorwart, Kinda & Rolf Tiedemann, Michael Trauner, Sabine Trenk-Hinterberger, Oswald Wagner, Christiane Wenckheim, Heike Westenberger-Breuer, Wiener Arbeitskreis für Psychoanalyse, Department of Biomedical Imaging and Image-guided therapy, Department of Urology, The Winnicott Trust London.