Mumler - Luther Parks and Spirit Spirit Photograph

Luther Parks & Spirit

An 1863 spirit photograph by William H. Mumler featuring Luther Parks and the spirit of a child. The back of the photograph states the spirit is his nephew but that appears to be a misprint in reference to another spirit photograph Parks had taken.

The back of the photograph bears the inscription:


The figure is recognized by himself and his family, as that of a deceased Nephew.

See “Spiritual Magazine” for January & Feb. 1863.

The Spiritual Magazine describes the photos as follows:

The next is a portrait of Mr. Luther Parks, an elderly gentleman, well known in this city, sitting with his hat on. The spirit in this picture is entirely unlike any of the others. It is a female figure floating in the air, the hair combed back over the head, a loose-fitting dress with short, loose sleeves gathered in at
the elbow; a bracelet on the left fore arm, which is extended, with a wreath of flowers in the hand, toward the gentleman. The right hand is pressed against the side, and over the head (not on it) floats a wreath of flowers. This spirit is quite transparent, the folds of a curtain being distinctly seen through
the whole of it

The Spiritual Magazine – January 1863

Another of the photographs I have, is the likeness of Mr. Luther Parks, a wealthy resident in Boston. The spirit figure by his side, is also that of a nephew who has frequently communicated with him, the likeness being recognized as strong by all the members of his family.

The Spiritual Magazine – February 1863

Photograph ID: 2023.13.4280

Photographer: William H. Mumler

Type: Carte de Visite

Year: 1863

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