Psyche & Muse explores the influence of cultural, clinical, and scientific dialogues about human psychology on twentieth-century writers, artists, and thinkers. Tracing important themes in the lives and work of key figures and artistic communities represented in the Beinecke Library’s Modern European and American Literature collections, the exhibition documents a range of imaginative encounters involving the arts and the study of the mind. The books, manuscripts, and visual works in Psyche & Muse represent aesthetic and philosophic lineages from the late nineteenth century to the post-war era; the exhibited materials reveal ways in which the study of psychology and core concepts of psychoanalysis were both intertwined with and opposed to artistic production throughout the twentieth century.
Psyche & Muse: Creative Entanglements with the Science of the Soul features materials from the Beinecke Library’s twentieth-century collections, including the Modern European Books and Manuscripts Collection, the Yale Collection of American Literature, and the James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection of African American Arts and Letters; figures represented in the exhibition include: Lou Andreas-Salomé, Antonin Artaud, James Baldwin, Andre Breton, A. A. Brill, Herman Broch, H. D., Mable Dodge Luhan, Max Ernst, Michel Foucault, Sigmund Freud, George Ivanovich Gurdjieff, Moss Hart, Carl Jung, Jacques Lacan, George Platt Lynes, Eugene O’Neill, Jean Toomer, Glenway Wescott, Richard Wright, and Gregory Zilboorg.