Elderly couple with female 'spirit'

Made:
c. 1920 in England
maker:
William Hope
Elderly couple with a young female 'spirit'
      A portrait photograph of a seated elderly couple, possibly taken by William Hope (1863-1933) in about 1920

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Elderly couple with a young female 'spirit' A portrait photograph of a seated elderly couple, possibly taken by William Hope (1863-1933) in about 1920
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

A portrait photograph of a seated elderly couple, possibly taken by William Hope in about 1920. A young woman's face appears as if floating above the sitters, draped in a cloak.

A portrait photograph of a seated elderly couple, possibly taken by William Hope in about 1920.

A young woman's face appears as if floating above the sitters, draped in a cloak. Hope may have already held her photograph in his studio, or he may have asked the couple to supply photographs of deceased relatives under the pretence of using the image to contact the spirit world.

William Hope's spirit album photographs use double and triple exposure techniques to render the appearance of ghostly apparitions around the sitter.

Hope's work gained momentum in the aftermath of World War One, a time when many bereaved people were desperate to find evidence of loved ones living beyond the grave. Although Hope's deception was publicly exposed by a private investigator, Harry Price (1881-1948), in 1922, Hope continued to practice.

Details

Category:
Photographs
Object Number:
2002-5054/18
type:
photograph
taxonomy:
  • visual and verbal communication
credit:
The National Media Museum, Bradford