The Illuminated Imagination awarded NAAP 2019 Gradiva Art Award

Award Recipient: 

The Illuminated Imagination: The Art of C.G. Jung

Award Date: 

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The AD&A Museum is proud to announce that the 2019 exhibition, The Illuminated Imagination: The Art of C.G. Jung, is the recipient of the NAAP 2019 Gradiva Art Award. 

Established in 1972, the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis (NAAP) seeks to unite the various schools of psychoanalytic thought and to ensure the independence, advancement, recognition, and sustainability of the profession of psychoanalysis. Each year, NAAP acknowledges the literary and artistic achievements of those who have created works that represent and promote psychoanalysis and psychotherapy.

C.G. Jung (1875- 1961) is best known for his fundamental contributions to our understanding of the human psyche. Throughout his experiences and discoveries, the role of the visual arts was critical. While never calling himself an artist, he integrated painting, drawing, sculpting, and even architecture as part of his long life. His most astonishing creation was The Red Book (1915–c.1930), a book he illustrated and hand-wrote in the manner of a medieval manuscript illuminator. This fascination with the Middle Ages began with his earliest childhood drawings of castles and continued to the tower of Bollingen, the retreat he designed and built on the shores of Lake Zurich. Early on, he painted landscapes filled with a transcendental longing that would imbue his mature analytical work. Jung was well-versed in the conventional tastes of his day; but his vision quickly grew to include art from around the world and throughout time: ancient Assyrian reliefs, African sculpture, Native American Zuni dolls, Tibetan mandalas. Jung knew many of the Dada artists who made their home in Zurich. He appreciated works by symbolists and surrealist painters like Yves Tanguy and Salvador Dali. Some of his own work can even be read as abstract, but the symbolic content was always of paramount importance to Jung.

Running from January 12th to April 28th, The Illuminated Imagination contained a staggering 170 objects, including the majority of Jung’s artistic oeuvre, as well as many of his manuscripts and books on art with annotations by Jung. The exhibit presented, for the first time, Jung’s Red Book and his own drawings and sculptures within the context of his theories and the world of art from which they drew.

The Illuminated Imagination was a largely collaborative endeavor, with support from the Foundation of the Works of C.G. Jung in Zurich, the Art and Psyche Working Group, and Pacifica Graduate Institute. Donors from across the world contributed funding and artworks for the exhibition, and facsimiles were extracted from materials in the UCSB Library’s Special Research Collection. Such an involved, complex exploration of this unique figure from both psychoanalytical and art history proved to be extraordinarily successful, attracting 4,862 visitors from across the globe.

“The Illuminated Imagination was very much a group effort, not only within the museum, but also with our wonderful collaborators at Pacifica and the Jung Foundation.  The exhibition was the centerpiece of an enormous range of activities, centered on the Art & Psyche of the Illuminated Imagination Conference, and all organized by Linda Carter of Pacifica. In fact we even had social dreaming matrix sessions in the exhibition itself for a week, before the galleries opened up to the public. It was wonderful!”

- Bruce Robertson, Professor and Director Emeritus of the Art, Design & Architecture Museum. 

C.G. Jung, The Red Book (detail), page 131, © 2009 Foundation of the Works of C.G. Jung, Zurich. First published by W.W. Norton & Company
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