In the 1860s and 1870s, trained artist, spiritualist and medium Georgiana Houghton (1814-1884) painted kaleidoscopic, psychedelic abstract watercolours, her brush guided by spirits, including angels, family members and Renaissance artists. Houghton called her work “spirit drawings”. On the verso, she wrote inscriptions.
In 1871, Houghton displayed 155 of her artworks in a gallery she’d rented for the purpose on London’s Bond Street. The Era newspaper hailed it as “the most astonishing exhibition in London at the present moment”. The Daily News called the pantings “the most extraordinary and instructive example of artistic aberration”. The Coultaud Gallery adds: “The exhibition proved to be a commercial failure and nearly bankrupted Houghton. Although she continued to make spirit drawings after the exhibition, her ambition of popularising the practice was not realised. Today, less than fifty of her works are known.”
Via: Courtauld Gallery, Stephen Ellcock
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