Precipitated Paintings

“Three Accounts of ‘Precipitated’ Portraits (from Old Diary Leaves)”

“The Bangs Sisters”

“Glimpses of the Next State”

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Here is an excerpt from the article “Glimpses of the Next State”:

Moore commented further about this seance: “Jonson was outside the cabinet for at least half the time that the materialisations appeared . . . I saw several forms dematerialise, two or three outside the cabinet: one male form did it deliberately, to show me how it was accomplished, and Cleopatra dematerialized from feet upwards.” The next materialization of Cleopatra occurred on January 29. In the interim between the previous seance, he had traveled to Chicago and for a week became acquainted with the mediumship of the Bangs Sisters, obtaining ‘precipitated’ (invisibly created) letters and portraits, including one of Cleopatra. The seance was an experiment for Moore as he was sitting alone with the Jonsons and he expressed his surprise about it being so successful. Iola appeared, then Viola and Abdullah.

The next materialization was that of Cleopatra, who emerged from the cabinet with her accustomed crown and gestures, but only 5 ft. 3 in. or 5 ft. 4 in. height. (I account for this by want of power, owing to my being the only sitter.) She said she would guard her picture (see Chapter VII.) [precipitated in the presence of the Bangs Sisters], and reappeared twice.

Cleopatra was followed by Hypatia, who came three times. She gave her name, and walked (or glided) up and down the room two feet outside the cabinet. Her face was that of a handsome woman, with much hair, and the movements of the figure were graceful. She could not talk much. I said: “If I go to Chicago again, will you help to precipitate your portrait?” The answer was, “With great pleasure.” There was nothing in the face (nor that of Cleopatra) that suggested a mortal being. I do not know why, but Mrs. Jonson was delighted at the appearance of Hypatia.

Hypatia brought an old friend of mine on her third appearance. I thought I knew who it was by his general appearance (possibly telepathy was at work), and asked, “Are you an English naval officer?” The head was bowed, and he twice put his hand to his forehead, indicating the disease from which he passed out. (This brother officer died insane some six years before.) I asked, “Are you happy?” The head was bowed vehemently. Both figures were clearly seen together.

My father and mother materialized. In these there was no possibility of error. My father had a nose like the Iron Duke, and I saw him in good light three feet outside the cabinet; his prominent feature was clearly distinguishable. Three men came out whom I did not know; one was said to be Mr. Marshall Fields, a wealthy merchant of Chicago; but, as I never knew him, nor heard of him before this evening, I cannot answer for his identity.