Exhibitions/ Art Object

[Spirit Photographs]

Ada Emma Deane (1864–1957)
Album containing 112 gelatin silver prints
Prints range from: 2 3/4 x 2 3/4 to 3 3/4 x 2 7/8
Credit Line:
Gilman Collection, Gift of The Howard Gilman Foundation, 2005
Accession Number:
Not on view
Signature: Occasional numbers in the negatives
Dated label inside front cover
Cyril Permutt; (Christie's London, November 1, 1990, Lot 50); Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York

Ada Deane was a leading psychic photographer of the period following the First World War. Known particularly for her spirit photographs, she produced a series of photographs taken in the early 1920s on the anniversary of Armistice Day. In these, images of soldiers killed during the war would appear on scenes of the crowd photographed at the annual parade. When, in 1924, the "Daily Sketch" disputed the authenticity of these photographs, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle intervened, contacting the noted anthropologist, Sir Arthur Keith. Keith's verdict, against the accusations of the "Sketch", was never published. The initials E.W.S. are those of Miss E. W. Stead, who worked with Ada Deane and initialed the plates prior to exposure.

Cyril Permutt assembled an outstanding collection of spirit photographs and published them in BEYOND THE SPECTRUM, Cambridge: Patrick Stephens Ltd., 1983.
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