Spiritualism, science and art: the case of Élise Müller

Round-table discussion on the exhibition

Bibliothèque de Genève

Geneva, 1899. Psychology professor Théodore Flournoy publishes Des Indes à la planète Mars, a book that immediately enjoys international success. The book reveals the astonishing talents of Élise Müller (1861-1929), a Genevan woman whom the author renames Hélène Smith. During spiritualist seances and in her somnambulistic states, she recounts her encounters with historical figures, her journeys through time and space, her visits to the planet Mars, whose landscapes she draws; she speaks ancient languages or invents new ones. Following the publication of the book, she turned to artistic pursuits, notably painting.

Echoing the exhibition Élise Müller / Hélène Smith. Médium, artiste, this round-table discussion will provide an opportunity to exchange views with several specialists on the exceptional career of this Genevan woman now known the world over. A destiny at the crossroads of spiritualism, science and the arts.

Mireille Cifali - historian, psychoanalyst (Archives Institut Jean-Jacques Rousseau)
Carla Demierre - writer
Pascale Jeanneret - curator (Musée de l'art brut)
Sarah Scholl - historian of religious culture (UNIGE)
Moderator: Marco Cicchini historian, exhibition co-curator (UNIGE)

Free, no registration required, subject to availability

Further information on the exhibition

About the venue

Promenade des Bastions 8, 1205 Genève