Georgiana Houghton (1814-1884)

Georgiana Houghton was a prominent figure of the early spiritualist movement in Victorian England, which played a significant role in various spheres of nineteenth-century culture and was later championed by such influential figures as Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Spiritualism emerged as the belief that contact with a spirit realm was possible and that such communication could bring one closer to God. Houghton, a trained artist as well as a medium, pioneered the use of drawing as a method of channelling and expressing communications with spirit entities. During the 1860s and 1870s, she produced a series of unprecedented abstract watercolours as part of her practice as a spirit medium. Houghton called these works ‘spirit drawings’

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