Friday, 15 October 2010

Ashby Spiritualist Church New Website


The following is a description extracted from Admiral W Unsworth Moore’s book ‘Glimpses
of the Next State’ published by Watts & Co, London in 1911, as to how the paintings were
obtained in his presence through the mediumship of the Banks Sisters of Chicago.
Two thin canvasses stretched on wooden frames and covered with thin paper were placed face
to face and held up in the window. The blind was drawn to the top of the canvasses and
curtains hung up in my presence on either side. The window has a southern aspect, and the
light coming in through the two semi-transparent canvasses is sufficient for the purposes of
taking notes and seeing everything that goes on. The small oak table was lengthways in the
window; the bottom of the canvasses rests upon it.
May Bangs sat on my right side facing me and pinching together with her right hand one side
of the canvasses. Lizzie Bangs sat on my left side facing me and pinching together the other
side of the canvasses with her left hand. I faced the middle of the canvasses, my nose being
between two feet and two feet six inches from them. After a few minutes the canvas assumed
various hues, rosy, blue and brown; it would become dark and light independently of the sun
being clouded or not.
On the morning of the 20th January 1909 went to the Bang Sisters for a profile portrait of Iola
as arranged on the 18th. Everything was ready at 10.50 and we sat until 11.30. I had in my
pocket a carte-de-visite of Iola taken in the year 1874. The mediums had never seen this or
any other photograph in my possession. Fifteen minutes after we sat in the window the face
and bust appeared; the profile was looking to the right, precisely the same aspect as it has
now, framed, hanging in my room. Remember, I was looking through the back of the picture,
and it was forming on the further side of that one of the two canvasses nearer to me;
consequently, had it gone on as it was and been finished, it would now (when framed) be
profile left.
When the portrait was nearly finished the two canvasses were lowered towards me on to the
table (the mediums being impressed, apparently to do this). A telegraphic came by taps to
May Bangs, who said: “She wants this picture for your wife specially, as well as for you. She
thinks that your wife would prefer to see her in the pose to which she is accustomed.” Up
went the canvasses again to the window, and I found that the whole picture was changed
round, so that the profile looked to the left instead of the right. In a few minutes the portrait
was completed, May Bangs remarking: “She says she cannot put in the hand.”
From the time the face and bust first appeared to the time the canvasses were separated and
the finished picture put on the sofa in the next room, twenty-five minutes had elapsed.
Neither of the psychics had ever seen the carte-de-visite in my pocket. How did they know
normally that there ought to be any hand in the picture? As a matter of fact, in this photo
there is a hand (the left) supporting the cheek on its left side? This was omitted in the
coloured picture.
When the portrait was finished, it bore a very close resemblance to the photograph. It was
looking in the same direction - to the right. As to likeness, it is impossible for anyone who
compares the photograph with the picture to deny that they are one and the same individual.
At the same time the picture is by no means a slavish copy of the photograph.

Its pose is more upright, the face
spirituelle, and the dress not exactly the
same. There is a firmness, a decision, and
an appearance of calm and contented
happiness in the face which is absent from
the carte-de-visite.
January 22nd 1909. Sat with the Bangs Sisters for a
portrait of Cleopatra.
As before two canvasses were produced, covered
with blank drawing paper, laid face to face, and
held up against the window, the bottom of the
canvasses, in this case, resting on the sill of the
window, as they were much larger in size than
those used for the two portraits of Iola.
I sat between the psychics, as on previous occasions, my eyes looking straight into the centre
of the canvasses from a distance of two feet to two feet six inches. We took our places at
10.55. About 11.05 the form began to appear, and it was roughly finished in ten minutes. We
were then directed, by taps on a slate, to put the canvases on the table and sit around it. We
moved the table to the centre of the room, placed the canvases flat upon it, covered them over
with the felt table cloth, and sat around as directed. At 11.30 we were informed that the
picture could be raised; the canvases were now separated and the picture put on a sofa in a
neighbouring drawing-room.
In all precipitations through the mediumship of the Bangs Sisters the picture is found to be on
the further side of the canvas which is next to the sitter. The stuff of which the picture is
composed is damp, and rubs off at the slightest touch, like soot. Notwithstanding this, the
paper on the canvas furthest from the sitter is unsoiled. The picture, while in process, can be
seen clearly through the back of the canvas; but of course it presents the reverse aspect to that
when it is framed - left arm for the right, and so forth.
The portrait of Cleopatra is practically the same now as it was when it was lifted from the
table. Afterwards, but not while I was looking at it, the colours deepened a little, flowers
were added to the embroidery of the dress, a ring was put on the finger of the left hand, and
the picture acquired a general appearance of greater richness and finish. It was hanging in the
lecture-room of the London Spiritualistic Alliance for four months, and it is therefore
unnecessary to describe it.
It cannot be called a work of high art; the dress is stiff, and the anatomical features are
deficient; but it is undoubtedly a representation of an Egyptian queen, and, considering the
way in which it was done, a fine example of spirit power.
This a remarkable tribute to the Campbell Brothers,
“Spirit Artists of Lily Dale, New York”,
Oil painting on slate of flowers/

The séance took place in Salford, Manchester, about 1901. The picture was painted by spirit
precipitation “before a full audience in good gaslight on a penny slate bought at Abel
Heywood’s shop.” The time taken was two minutes and was witnessed by Mrs W A Herring