Mediumistic Art

In the process of collecting and preserving historical collections of parapsychology and the Spiritualistic movement in the Netherlands, the HJBF has obtained a small but fascinating collection of Dutch mediumistic art from the 1930s onwards. Throughout the 20th century, these expressions of mediumistic art were highly valued by members of the Spiritualistic movement as they were considered to be the ‘proof beyond all doubt’ of the reality of the ‘world beyond the veil’.

 

Ever since the rise of the spiritualistic movement in the late 19th century, there have been expressions of mediumistic art in paintings, drawings, sculptures and music. These artworks were produced by mediums who experienced receiving their messages from ‘the world beyond,’ not in words, but by involuntary automatic movements of their hands producing a piece of art. Often the medium is in another state of consciousness (trance) while producing the art. In general, the mediums report having no memories of what they produced during this trance state. Not much is known about this type of mediumistic expression because art historians, museums, and private art collectors traditionally consider this type of art in general as not valuable, ‘childish’, and having not much artistic appeal. However, over the last decade, this type of art has become more and more popular as a part of the ‘Art Brut’ or ‘Outsider Art’ movement.