The Wolf Man Paints! - A Symposium

Thursday, November 18, 2010 - 4:00pm

The Wolf Man Paints! Featuring drawings and paintings by Sigmund Freud's famous patient Sergius Pankejeff
November 18, 2010 - January 22, 2011
at Slought Foundation

Symposium on the artist on Thursday, November 18, 2010, 5-6:30pm

The Wolf Man Paints! is an unprecedented exhibition of drawings and paintings by Sigmund Freud's famous patient Sergius Pankejeff, on display from November 18, 2010 through January 22, 2011. The exhibit provides insight into Pankejeff’s art, offers a history of his life and life as a patient, and documents a chapter in the history of psychoanalysis.

A symposium on November 18th, 2010 at Slought Foundation beginning at 5pm, and presented as part of the "Freud, Franklin and Beyond" panel series co-sponsored by the Penn Department of Psychiatry and the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia, will further explore this history. Speakers will include members who knew Gardiner and acquired the paintings from her, alongside reflections by scholars on the “Wolf Man” and his art.

A series of film screenings will accompany the exhibition. These include film viewings related to Freud and Gardiner, who is also known today as a prominent person of the WWII resistance, depicted as “Julia” in Lillian Hellman’s Pentimento. Each film will be introduced by film scholars from the University of Pennsylvania and the exhibition curators.


Sergius Pankejeff (1887-1979) was one of Freud’s best known patients, and certainly his longest one. A Russian aristocrat, Pankejeff traveled to Vienna and first visited Freud in 1910. Though Pankejeff was 23 years of age, well educated and fluent in foreign languages, he was unable to care for himself. Freud’s treatment of Pankejeff began with his visits to a sanatorium outside the city center, and continued in Freud’s office at the Berggasse 19. His first analysis with Freud ended in 1914 when Pankejeff traveled to Russia to visit his family. Pankejeff was unable to return to Vienna until 1919, after WWI and the Russian Revolution, during which he and his family had lost their fortune. At this time, Pankejeff resumed his analysis with Freud, and became a “ward” of the Viennese psychoanalytic organization.

Freud published the case study of Pankejeff in 1918, naming him the “Wolf Man” in allusion to one of his dreams. Following his second analysis with Freud, Pankejeff became a patient of Ruth Mack Brunswick, a former student of Freud’s who also wrote a case study of her therapy with him. After World War II, Pankejeff continued to be analyzed by Kurt Eissler, then director of the Freud Archives, and Muriel Gardiner, who trained with Brunswick. She recorded her experiences with the “Wolf Man” as well, in an almost comprehensive account of his analyses entitled The Wolf-Man by the Wolf-Man (1971) the proceedings thereof served the patient’s further support.


The Wolf Man Paints! is curated by Liliane Weissberg, Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor in Arts and Sciences in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pennsylvania, in collaboration with doctoral students Melanie Adley (German) and Isabel Suchanek (Art History).

This program is made possible in part through the generous support of the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia, and, at the University of Pennsylvania, the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures; the Department of History of Art; the Department of Psychiatry; the Scholars Program in Culture and Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication; the Department of English; the Department of Slavic Languages and Literature; the Program in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory; the Cinema Studies Program; The Alice Paul Center for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality; and the SAS Dean's Office Fund. Additional support has been provided by the Society of Friends of the Slought Foundation.

Special Thanks to the Members of the Psychanalytic Center of Philadelphia; Harold Blum, Director of the Freud Archives; Carol Seigel, Director of the Freud Museum, London; the Staff of the Manuscript Archives, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; and the Staff of the University of Pennsylvania Libraries.

Cinema Studies Program
209A Fisher-Bennett Hall ⋅ 3340 Walnut Street ⋅ Philadelphia, PA 19104 ⋅ (215) 898-8782