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Andrew Jackson Davis (1826-1910)

Object Name: Portrait
Date: ca. 1870-1875
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Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: Overall: 24 1/4 x 20 in. ( 61.6 x 50.8 cm )
Credit Line: Gift of Gerard Stern
Object Number: 1957.95
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Marks: signature: lower left: "A. Jackson Davis / Thos Le Clear N. A." inscription: lower right: "A. Jackson Davis" (possibly his signature)

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Davis was "discovered" around 1844 by William Levingston, a Poughkeepsie tailor who quit his trade to work with Davis to develop his clairvoyant powers for the cure of diseases. Davis's lectures, delivered while in a trance, were published as "Principles of Nature, Her Divine Revelations, and a Voice to Mankind" in 1847. Eventually, Davis progressed from mesmerism to spiritualism, as may be seen in "The Great Harmonia" (1850-52) and "The Philosophy of Spiritual Intercourse" (1856).