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October 31 - December 31, 2008

The Philippson Bible and Freud's Imagination

Art Exhibition

Wood Engravings from the Philippson Bible

at the Center

The Philoctetes Center is pleased to present The Philippson Bible and Freud's Visual Imagination. A masterpiece of graphic design, the Philippson Bible (1858), the book from which Sigmund Freud was educated by his father, contains over 700 wood engravings in an expanded scientific apparatus of notes and references. The world of natural history (in the eighteenth and nineteenth-century tradition) is represented in specific images of flora and fauna, and in landscapes both cultivated and sublime, from the microcosm of individual snowflakes to vast sweeps of forgotten terrain. Works of art from various cultures are reproduced to communicate historical knowledge, and romantic views of ruins evoke the allure of antiquity. An ethnographic range of women and men, their habits and customs, are also addressed in an Orientalist pictorial vocabulary. All this is within the context of the Jewish Bible, translated from Hebrew to German.

The exhibition is conceived as a visual counterpart to the roundtable, Freud, Psychoanalysis, and the Philippson Bible. It offers the viewer a sampling of sixteen enlarged reproductions of the illustrations contained in the Philippson's three volumes, along with a technical display of the art of wood engraving. Visitors will encounter the long-ago of Biblical time as well as deeper geological time, the Classical world, the natural world, and the anthropology of humankind.

The exhibition may be viewed M-F from 11:00AM to 5:00PM, and by appointment. Please call 646-422-0544 or email info@philoctetes.org to make arrangements.

Exhibition curated by Andrew Stein Raftery, Associate Professor of Printmaking at Rhode Island School of Design.

Philippson Bible, Lamentations 2, 2. View from the Ruins at Laodicea

Philippson Bible, Moses 3, 4-7 and Moses 12, 17-21. Ficus carica and Phytolacca decandra