Freud Museum London: “A Surreal Christmas"

Jamie Ruers

Events Manager and Online Shop Co-ordinator, Freud Museum

Freud Museum London

20 Maresfield Gardens, London, NW1 7NE, UNITED KINGDOM

Museums in Short Award 2019



A Surreal Christmas – Freud, Dalí and the Metamorphosis of Narcissus at the Freud Museum



In 2019, the Freud Museum London won the ‘Museums in Short’ award for their promotional advert: ‘A Surreal Christmas’. It publicised the 2018 winter exhibition, Freud, Dalí and the Metamorphosis of Narcissus, showcasing the meeting of Salvador Dalí and Sigmund Freud which took place in London in 1938. The exhibition was held from October 2018 – February 2019. On display were some of Salvador Dalí’s famous works, including The Metamorphosis of Narcissus (1937) and sketches he produced during his meeting with Freud. They hung alongside publications by both Dalí and Freud, pieces from the Museum’s collection and an audio reading of Dalí’s poem also entitled The Metamorphosis of Narcissus.


Taking this as the starting point, the shop developed bespoke products inspired by the exhibition. Working across departments, from curatorial and education, to the online shop and digital media, the Museum produced a short film. The video was inspired by the Surrealist technique of ‘automatism’, which is linked to the Freudian concept of ‘free association’. Each item featured shares a common characteristic or ‘association’ with the next item. The film’s creative producer, Karolina Urbaniak, was inspired by Terry Gilliam’s work on Monty Python and the bespoke soundtrack was inspired by the poetry of Dada artists.




Unlike many Museum short films, this had a commercial objective to promote the Museum’s unique exhibition-related shop products during the Christmas period. This presentation will guide you through the exhibition and introduce some of the concepts behind the film.




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