Archive for May, 2010

JUNGS RED BOOK

The Hammer Museum presents The Red Book of C. G. Jung: Creation of a New Cosmology, an exhibition of preeminent psychologist Carl Gustav Jung’s (1875-1961) famous Red Book, thought to be the most influential unpublished work in the history of psychology by many contemporary scholars. Jung also considered the Red Book to be his most important work, or as he described it, the “prima materia for a lifetime’s work.” Until now, however, the book has spent most of its existence in a Swiss safe deposit box, and very few people have actually seen it. This exhibition, organized by the Rubin Museum in New York, includes works of art and archival materials on loan from the Foundation of the Works of C. G. Jung, the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich, the C.G. Jung Foundation for Analytical Psychology, the Jung family private archive, and other private collections. The show is the first public presentation of the remarkable book and it coincides with the publication of a facsimile edition of the Red Book by W.W. Norton & Company. The Hammer is the only West Coast venue for the exhibition and the presentation will also include an important series of public programs to further explore the work of C.G. Jung and his legacy.

Carl Jung began work on the Red Book in 1914 at the age of thirty-eight. He had established a successful private psychological practice in Zurich, but subsequently fell into a period of personal and spiritual turmoil. It was during this period that Jung formulated what would become his most important and famous theories about archetypes, the collective unconscious, and the process of individuation. The Red Book is a collection of Jung’s personal writings and drawings, chronicling the often horrific and troubling explorations of his own unconscious. For the better part of sixteen years Jung consistently documented his dreams and recorded his fantasies in a beautiful volume that resembles a medieval manuscript. It is a strange hybrid of thought and image, taking the form of an 11-1/2 x 14-1/4 inch red leather-bound book. On more than two-thirds of the pages, Jung paired his abstract and brightly hued graphic forms with thoughts written in a beautiful calligraphic style. Out of this work and these experiences Jung would transform psychotherapy from a practice concerned with the treatment of the sick into a means for the higher development of the personality.

The Red Book of C. G. Jung – Exhibitions – Hammer Museum