Edward Bibring Photographs the Psychoanalysts of His Time provides us with a unique pictorial window into a fascinating period of psychoanalytic history. It is the gift of Edward Bibring, a passionate photographer who, Rolleiflex in hand, chronicled international psychoanalytic congresses from 1932 to 1938. The period in question spans the ascendancy of Hitler, the great exodus of analysts to England and the U.S., and the Anschluss of 1938. A year after the Paris Congress, the last meeting photographed by Bibring, Europe would be in flames.
At Wiesbaden in 1932, we find an ever dignified Ernest Jones relaxing aboard a sight-seeing ship, and Helene Deutsch and Heinz Hartmann delightfully at ease at a coffee shop. At the Lucerne Congress of 1934, Anna Freud, Ludwig Jekels, Wilhelm Reich, Grete Bibring, Max Eitingon, and Franz Alexander happily converse outside a hotel. At Marienbad in 1936, there are smiling new faces: Annie Reich, Ernst Kris, Otto Fenichel, Edward Glover, and others. At Budapest in1937 the women – Anna Freud, Vilma Kovacs, Dorothy Burlingham, and Elisabeth Geleerd – speak animatedly among themselves. A demure Margaret Mahler and a chic Marianne Kris make their appearance. In 1938, we see a series of table shots, where analysts, now with suit jackets removed and even a few collars loosened, relax with their food, wine, and cigars.
Bracketed by Sanford Gifford’s brief introduction and biographical sketches of all the captured parties, Bibring’s photographs, digitized and enlarged, retain just enough graininess to evoke a different era in the history of psychoanalysis. It is heartening to see the paragons of “classical psychoanalysis” as warmly human, their analytic reserve supplanted by relaxed affability. But it is sobering to remember that the high spirit engendered by Congresses – in Bibring’s time no less than our own – may overlay the gravest political developments and the deepest personal anxieties.
Table of Contents
12th IPA Congress in Wiesbaden, 1932. 13th IPA Congress in Lucerne, 1934. 14th IPA Congress in Marienbad, 1936. Vierlaendertagung in Budapest, 1937. 15th IPA Congress in Paris, 1938. Miscellaneous Occasions. Biographical Sketches.