The Rubin is transforming. Read more about our future as a global museum.

The Red Book of C.G. Jung

Creation of a New Cosmology

October 7, 2009–February 15, 2010

This unprecedented exhibition marks the first public presentation of the preeminent psychologist C. G. Jung’s (1875-1961) famous Red Book. During the period in which he worked on this book Jung developed his principal theories of archetypes, collective unconscious, and the process of individuation. It is possibly the most influential unpublished work in the history of psychology. More than two-thirds of the large, red, leather-bound manuscript’s pages are filled with Jung’s brightly hued and striking graphic forms paired with his thoughts written in a beautiful, illuminated style. Jung was fascinated by the mandala—an artistic representation of the inner and outer cosmos used in Tibetan Buddhism to help practitioners reach enlightenment—and used mandala structures in a number of his own works. Jung’s first known mandala-like work, Systema mundi totius (1916), will be on display. Created between 1914 and 1930, the Red Book has never before been seen in public, outside the circle of Jung’s family and very close friends. Alongside the 95-year-old volume will be a number of oil, chalk, and tempera paintings and preparatory sketches related to it and other original manuscripts, including the Black Books, which contain ideas and fantasies leading up to the Red Book. The exhibition coincides with W.W. Norton & Company’s publication of a facsimile and translation of the Red Book.

Copies of the new publication will be available for perusal in a reference area in the gallery and available for purchase in the Shop @ RMA. The works of art and archival materials included in The Red Book of C.G. Jung are on loan from the Foundation for the Works of C. G. Jung, the Jung family private archive, and private collections. W.W. Norton & Company’s publication is edited by Dr. Sonu Shamdasani, General Editor of the Philemon Foundation and Philemon Professor in Jung History at the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at University College, London. The Red Book is one of the volumes of the Philemon Series, sponsored by the Philemon Foundation.

Image reprinted from The Red Book by C. G. Jung (c) Foundation of the Works of C. G. Jung. With permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Related Programs
The Red Book Dialogues
A series of onstage discussions between notable personalities and pyschoanalysts. The pairs will interpret the imagery from The Red Book and explore the themes that develop.
Cabaret Cinema: The Red Book Series
A series of classic films that explore Jungian themes

Lunch Matters
A weekly lunch-time documentary series featuring interviews with Jung and some of his closest associates.

Associated Programs
In celebration of the exhibition and the publication of The Red Book facsimile, events related to the Jung and the book will take place throughout the city.

Exhibition Resources

    Special Resources