Faces of the living dead: the belief in spirit photography
Photographic portraits with ghost figures, spirit writing and ectoplasm crowding the living subjects were all part of the spirit photography craze that swept the world from the 1870s to the 1930s. Momentous events such as the American Civil War, World War I and the influenza epidemic brought loss of life and grief on a massive scale, and for those who were grieving, spirit photography offered a strong message: the potential to contact lost loved ones. From the collections of The British Library and other major archives in Britain and America, FACES OF THE LIVING DEAD includes work from leading spirit photographers of the time, including William Crookes, Ada Deane, William Mumler and Edward Wyllie, and examines the evolution and popularity of spirit photography. Spirit photographs offer us compelling historical evidence of the power of technology to assist people in coping with the inexplicable and undesirable experiences of modernity.
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Ada Deane album appeared Armistice Day Arthur Conan Doyle automatic writing Barlow Collection BCPS believed Bisson Boursnell British Library Buguet cabinet Cambridge University Library camera clients Cook Crawford d'Albe Daily Sketch darkroom dead Deane Medium File Deane's deceased developed drapery ectoplasmic Edward Wyllie Eric Dingwall experiments exposure face fake Family Foundation donation Figure flashlight photograph Florence Cook Fodor fraud Fred Barlow Frederick Hudson Gallery of Australia Gelatin silver photograph Geley Halftone reproduction hands Hope's Houdini Houghton Ibid images invisible operators Katie King lady light Lodge London magazine magicians manifest Margery mediumship Mellon Phenomena of Materialization photographic plate photographs taken Photography Fund picture plate-holder portrait photograph produced psychic investigators psychic phenomena psychic photograph Psychical Research Collection recognized Richet sceptical sealed seance side sitting Society for Psychical spirit extras spirit photographs Spiritualist studio supposedly trance Unidentified sitter Varley Vearncombe veil Warrick wife William Crookes William Hope