Director's Circle, Patrons' Circle

Curatorial Tour and Drinks Reception: Georgiana Houghton: Spirit Drawings

Wed 16 Jun, 2021

Georgiana Houghton (1814 -1884) was a Spiritualist medium who, in the 1860s and 70s, produced an astonishing series of largely abstract watercolours. Detailed explanations on the back of the works declare that her hand was guided by various spirits, including several Renaissance artists, as well as higher angelic beings. In 1871 Houghton rented a gallery in Bond Street and presented 155 of these works to a London audience. With their bold colours, fluid forms and dense rich patterns these confident and mesmerising watercolours appear to anticipate automatic drawing and the abstraction of early 20th century art. The majority of Houghton’s work survives in the Spiritualist Union in Melbourne, Australia and is little known beyond a circle of specialists. Join Dr Barnaby Wright, Daniel Katz Curator of 20th Century Art, as he leads a tour of these beguiling works.