Man with 'spirit' of his first wife

Made:
c. 1920 in England
maker:
William Hope
Man with 'spirit' of his deceased first wife
      A photograph of a man, taken by William Hope (1863-1933) in about 1920

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Man with 'spirit' of his deceased first wife A photograph of a man, taken by William Hope (1863-1933) in about 1920
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

A photograph of a man, taken by William Hope in about 1920. The woman is identified as the sitter's deceased first wife. Hope may have already held her photograph in his studio, or he may have asked the man to supply her photograph under the pretence of using the image to contact the spirit world. The signature in the upper left hand corner is the sitter's, authenticating the plate.

A photograph of a man, taken by William Hope in about 1920.

The woman is identified as the sitter's deceased first wife. Hope may have already held her photograph in his studio, or he may have asked the man to supply her photograph under the pretence of using the image to contact the spirit world.

The signature in the upper left hand corner is the sitter's, authenticating the plate. 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 his deception was publicly exposed by a private investigator, Harry Price (1881-1948), in 1922, Hope continued to practice.

Details

Category:
Photographs
Object Number:
2002-5054/2
type:
photograph
taxonomy:
  • visual and verbal communication
credit:
The National Media Museum, Bradford