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Lucian Freud (1922-2011) Lunchtime Lecture: Freuds’ War

6 October 2022 1:00 pm

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Freud family, 1898 (Front row: Sophie, Anna and Ernst; middle row: Oliver and Martha, plus Minna Bernays; back row: Martin and Sigmund)

Thursday 6 October at 1pm will see the first of a weekly series of events marking the centenary of the birth of celebrated artist, who came to this country from Berlin with his immediate family in 1933. This first event is an online talk by historian Helen Fry, based on her fascinating book Freud’s War; the second, on Thursday 13 October at 2.30pm, is an in-person guided tour of  the exhibition, Lucian Freud: The Painter and his Family, currently on at the Freud Museum, London; the third, on Thursday 20 October at 1pm, an online talk by Elizabeth Lamle about Freud’s very early work and correspondence; the fourth, on Thursday 27 Octoberat 2.30pm, an in-person visit to the major Freud retrospective at the National Gallery, preceded by an introductory lecture by art historian Monica Bohm-Duchen.

Lunchtime Lecture: Freuds’ War

Historian Dr Helen Fry charts the story of the Freud family following their departure from Austria as refugees during World War II. Despite his worldwide reputation as the father of modern psychology, Sigmund Freud’s security in his native Vienna changed overnight when Hitler’s forces annexed Austria in 1938. It was after becoming refugees that the Freuds’ story took a fascinating turn. Following their dramatic escape from Austria, Sigmund’s son Martin and grandson Walter enlisted in the British Forces. In 1943, Walter volunteered for Special Operations Executive, a secret British World War II organisation, which sent him back to Austria to spy behind enemy lines.

Dr Fry has written over 25 books, including Spymaster: The Man Who Saved MI6, Churchill’s German Army, and the bestselling The Walls Have Ears: The Greatest Intelligence Operation of WWII. Freuds’ War draws on previously unpublished family archives and photographs, including excerpts from Sigmund’s diary, to give an insight into the renowned family’s life in both pre-war Vienna and WWII Britain.

The series is organised jointly by Insiders/Outsiders, Jewish Renaissance magazine and the Lyons Learning Project.


For further details and to book, click here.

Image: Reflection with Two Children (Self-Portrait), detail, 1965 © The Lucian Freud Archive