Keats expert becomes director of the Freud Museum
- Credit: Courtesy of The Freud Museum
A former director of Rome's Keats-Shelley House takes over running Belsize Park's Freud Museum this month.
Giuseppe Albano replaces Carol Seigel, who has retired after 13 years running the former home of Sigmund Freud and his daughter Anna in Maresfield Gardens.
He was previously curator and director of the museum next to Rome's Spanish Steps, dedicated to romantic poets John Keats and Percy Shelley.
Diagnosed with tuberculosis, Keats travelled from Hampstead to Italy for his health, but died in the house in February 1821. Shelley, who championed Keats' work, drowned off the Italian coast in July 1822. A volume of Keat's verse was found in his pocket, and the pair are buried in the Protestant cemetery in Rome.
Sue Prevezer, chair of the Freud Museum's board of trustees, said: "We are sorry to say farewell to Carol. It is thanks to her tireless work during the pandemic that the Museum has emerged safely and well placed to relaunch its ambitious plans for the future. Under Carol’s tenure, this ‘hidden gem’ at 20 Maresfield Gardens was quietly built into one of London’s best independent museums, welcoming over 30,000 people a year from all over the world.
"We are very much looking forward to working with Giuseppe, and all of us at the Freud Museum extend a warm welcome to him."
Sigmund Freud moved to Hampstead in 1938 after escaping Austria following the Nazi annexation. He spent the last year of his life there, with child psychiatrist Anna remaining until her death in 1982.
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Carol said: "The Freud Museum has acquired a director with a fantastic track record in the heritage sector and a safe pair of hands at a critical juncture in the Museum’s future. Giuseppe has vast experience in developing a historic house museum, attracting funding, while also taking a collaborative approach to building relationships. I hope that he enjoys being here as much as I have."
In addition to major fundraising campaigns, Giuseppe developed an educational outreach programme at the Keats-Shelley House for refugees in Rome. In 2019, as regional coordinator for the Associazione Nazionale Case della Memoria, he was awarded an MBE for building partnerships with the UK.
"I’m thrilled to be joining the Freud Museum and especially attracted by the opportunity to set the direction for the Museum’s future," he said. "It's an honour to help ensure that the Museum thrives in the post-Covid world."