The Sheldon Museum presents: By Seen and Unseen Hands: Spirit Artists and their Art in the 21st Century, a talk by Associate Champlain College Professor Stephen Wehmeyer, Since the earliest days of its history, the American Spiritualist movement has been closely tied to the visual arts. Renowned mediums like the Bangs Sisters and the Campbell Brothers trafficked in “precipitated” paintings – artwork purportedly produced by spirit hands – while the emergent technology of photography offered believers (and the occasional charlatan) a new tool for capturing visible records of an invisible world. Spiritualism thrives in the present day, and the visual arts remain a vital part of the expressive culture of modern Spiritualists. Since the mid-1990s, Stephen has been exploring the artistic work of Mediums and Spirit Artists from Spiritualist communities in Western New York, Southern California, and New Orleans. This presentation explores the role and function of visual arts in the lives and work of these latter-day Spiritualists, whose vernacular visions of unseen worlds continue to intrigue, delight, and inspire.
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Producer: Henry Sheldon Museum