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Organized Escape: Psychoanalysts in Exile - Exhibition to Open Summer 2023

May 11, 2023
May 11, 2023 – Stockbridge, MA - The Erikson Institute of the Austen Riggs Center has collaborated with the Sigmund Freud Museum, Vienna, to bring an immersive and historical exhibition to Stockbridge, MA for the summer of 2023.
  • Exhibition Title: Organized Escape: Psychoanalysts in Exile
  • Where: Corner House Community Exhibition Space at 48 Main Street, Stockbridge, MA
  • When: Thursdays-Saturdays, 10am-4pm (Eastern), June 3 through October 16, 2023
This exhibition tells the unique history of the collective escape of Jewish Viennese psychoanalysts through selected biographies, numerous images, and original, written documents. From the detailed lists and plans laid out by Anna Freud and the leaders of the Viennese Psychoanalytic Society (WPV), to their joyous reunion at the Austen Riggs Center’s “First Stockbridge Congress on Child Analysis” in 1950, we learn that many succeeded in finding professional fulfilment in exile, and some of them went on to have impressive careers.
Austen Riggs former Medical Director (1947-66) Robert Knight, MD, and émigré psychoanalysts Ernst and Marianne Kris played a key role in the organization of this congress and in the development of psychoanalysis in the United States. Later, the Kris’ son Anton O. Kris became an important figure in psychoanalysis, building bridges between psychoanalysts in Europe and the United States.
Director of the Erikson Institute Jane G. Tillman, PhD, states, “American psychoanalysis in the 20th century was considerably enriched and shaped by the émigré psychoanalysts from Central Europe and this exhibit tells the story of the concerted effort by psychoanalytic organizations around the world to aid in the lifesaving escape of Jewish psychoanalysts from Vienna as the Nazis invaded Austria.”
The exhibition was curated by Daniela Finzi and Monika Pessler (Sigmund Freud Museum) in cooperation with ArbeitsgruppezurGeschichte der Psychoanalyse: Thomas Aichhorn, Georg Augusta, Eva Kohout, Roman Krivanek, Nadja Pakesch, Alix Paulus and Katharina Seifert (WPV und WAP).
The collaboration between the Austen Riggs Center and Sigmund Freud Museum, Vienna, also included four virtual roundtable discussions exploring legacy, loss, genocide, and the impact of emigration on psychoanalysis. Recordings of these roundtables can be found at
This collaboration was undertaken in honor of the late Anton O. Kris who served as the Executive Director of the Freud Archives and worked tirelessly to build relationships across oceans and generations of psychoanalysts. It is supported in part by Steven C. Ackerman and grants from the Stockbridge Cultural Council and the Lee Cultural Council, local agencies that are supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.
About the Austen Riggs Center
The Austen Riggs Center is a vital therapeutic community, open psychiatric hospital, and institute for education, research, and advocacy in the field of mental health. Located in the Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts, Riggs has been serving adults since its founding in 1919. In addition to its residential program, Riggs also offers a fully online course of treatment for college students and other emerging adults in MA or NY via its Remote Access Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). Riggs’ mission is to promote resilience and self-direction in those with complex psychiatric problems—to help people take charge of their lives. In addition to the Center’s clinical mission, the Erikson Institute for Education, Research, and Advocacy of the Austen Riggs Center studies individuals in their social contexts through research, training, education, and outreach programs in the local community and beyond. For more information, visit
About the Sigmund Freud Museum, Vienna
Vienna IX, Berggasse 19. This is the address where Sigmund Freud lived and worked for 47 years until he was forced to flee from the Nazi regime in 1938. In 1971, the Sigmund Freud Museum was founded here, and after extensive renovation and expansion reopened in 2020. Three permanent exhibitions in Freud's former living and office rooms, an art presentation in the Showroom Berggasse 19 as well as special exhibitions present Freud's multi-layered cultural legacy: they are dedicated to his life and work, the development of psychoanalysis in theory and practice, and its importance for the fields of society, science, and art. The history of the house at Berggasse 19 and the fates of its occupants are also brought into focus. Visit for more information.