Madness & Modernity

  • Exhibition
Photograph of the exhibition, Madness and Modernity, at the Wellcome Collection.
Madness and Modernity exhibition, Richard Hall. Source: Wellcome Collection. CC BY-NC.

Vienna at the turn of the 20th century was one of Europe’s leading centres of modernism.

This was a tumultuous period during which the arts, literature, architecture and philosophy blossomed – a time when Sigmund Freud (among others) pioneered new ideas about psychiatry and the self. This exhibition presented the range of ways that madness and art interacted in Vienna: from designs for utopian psychiatric spaces to the drawings of patients confined within them. It explored the influence of psychiatry on early modernism and encouraged us to reflect upon how we deal with mental illness 100 years later.