Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Spirit Paintings of Marion Gruzeski

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With this series of Detroit Free Press articles by writer Elden Small published in consecutive weekes in May of 1923 we learn of and are shown examples of the "spirit paintings" of young Detroit artist Marion Gruzeski but next to nothing about him or his life as a spiritual medium. He is briefly mentioned in the second article as Small described his paintings as grewsome [sic] and weird and states that Gruzeski was presumed to be under the trance of a dead artist.

The lack of information is hardly a setback as Small gives leads to various other Spiritualists in the movement which was rapidly gaining traction. A fact that was evidenced by the dozen or so churches in Detroit following the Spiritualist philosophy. Some of the names of interest included in the expose are Dr. Burrows of the Occult Temple, Rev. Thomas Grimshaw, Dr. J. H. Hyslop, King Benjamin and Mother Elinor (AKA Ann Odelia Diss Debar. All of whom I've never heard of, ignorant as I am in the field of spirituality.

Also featured are several photos of both Maude Roose and her spirit paintings. Roose, previously featured on this blog, was a novice artist who painted phenomenal replicas of famous paintings without any formal training and very little experience practicing her art. She, like Gruzeski, claimed to be inspired by the spirit of dead artists.

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