Cover

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pp. 1-5

Contents

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p. v

List of Illustrations

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pp. vii-ix

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Introduction: The History and Teachings of Spiritualism

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pp. 1-20

The flourishing of Spiritualism in the second half of the nineteenth century coincided with a growing willingness on the part of many Americans to hold the fine arts in high esteem. The simultaneity was not entirely fortuitous. Puritan austerity and republican simplicity seemed increasingly pass

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Chapter 1. Who Speaks for the Dead?

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pp. 21-60

Spiritualism grew out of, and joined in, the debate about the nature and legitimacy of privilege that roiled Jacksonian society. The liberal orientation of believers generally set them against religious orthodoxy and the traditionalists who painted a dismal picture of humanity’s prospects. ...

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Chapter 2. Reenchanting America

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pp. 61-91

Those “materialist professors” in the previous chapter who so discomfited the Stanfords were undoubtedly proponents of Max Weber’s “disenchantment of the world” mentioned earlier. While academics still tend to adhere to its agenda, the Stanfords’ preferences resemble those of the American public in general, ...

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Chapter 3. Revelations by Daylight

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pp. 92-121

We tend to think of ghosts as nocturnal beings, but what might the day reveal of their existence? This question underlies the analysis of William Sidney Mount and Fitz Henry Lane that follows. The golden glow that pervades their stilled settings implies a state of heightened consciousness, ...

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Chapter 4. Ghostly Gloamings

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pp. 122-152

Our focus now shifts away from the sun-drenched landscapes of luminism and toward the muted urban scenery rendered by James McNeill Whistler. The uncanny qualities of his Nocturnes and portraits, it will be argued, derive from a palpable atmosphere that alludes to ether and the numinous properties it purportedly possessed. ...

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Chapter 5. Land of Promise

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pp. 153-181

The beliefs George Inness (1825–94) professed have long intrigued and frequently baffled admirers. This puzzlement is not the consequence of the artist’s reticence to explain himself; on the contrary, he was ever forthcoming to anyone who would listen, ...

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Chapter 6. Romantic Conjurations

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pp. 182-209

George Fuller and Albert Pinkham Ryder managed to combine elements of late Romanticism with those of an emergent Modernism to create oeuvres that figure prominently among the lasting accomplishments of Gilded Age culture. ...

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Chapter 7. The Critic as Psychic

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pp. 210-232

In the third quarter of the nineteenth century, James Jackson Jarves (1818– 88) ascended to a position of prominence in the American art world attained by few other critics. His authority derived from a familiarity with current critical literature, John Ruskin especially, and a knowledge of the history of art garnered during the decades he lived in Europe, ...

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Chapter 8. Lessons in Clairvoyance

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pp. 233-249

Concluding a book on Spiritualism with a review of Robert Henri might seem incongruous given his place among the principal proponents of American Realism in histories of art. It helps to recall, however, that he began formulating his aesthetic during the 1890s, when Symbolism captured the imagination of the rising generation. ...

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Postscript

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pp. 250-256

Another way of thinking about Spiritualism, one that should tie up the threads woven through the preceding chapters, is to view it as a response to the quandaries many Protestants, Calvinists especially, experienced as they endeavored to comply with teachings of orthodoxy. ...

Notes

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pp. 257-302

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 303-314

Index

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pp. 315-320

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Acknowledgments

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p. 321

Research for this book began during the fall of 1999 at the Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library in Delaware, an opportunity made possible by a fellowship jointly granted by the Winterthur and the National Endowment for the Humanities. ...