For over 40 years, beginning in the 1890s, Sigmund Freud collected antiquities—some 2,000 in all, primarily from ancient Egypt, classical Greece and Rome, the Near East, and the Orient. He displayed them in his study and in his consulting room, cased in glass, lined up on shelves and in vitrines and cabinets, and standing in a thick row along the front of his desk. Sixty-seven of these objects will be shown in the exhibition “The Sigmund Freud Antiquities: Fragments from a Buried Past,” curated by Lynn Gamwell for the University Art Museum of the State University of New York, Binghamton.

WHEN I LOOK AT this catalogue of Freud’s collection, I think of Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. The analogy is not entirely a put-down. The collection is a document; it has the nostalgia of a period piece, and it’s very moving. Freud collected because it gave him pleasure, a kind of self-esteem. Why did he

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