Anthony de Francisci, Kate Fox, Medal, 1947, gilded white metal, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Gilda Slate, 1966.110.53
Catherine “Kate” Fox (1836-1892) was one of the founders of spiritualism, a movement that swept America and Europe in the nineteenth century. When Kate was young, she and her sister Margaret claimed to have heard rapping noises in their Arcadia, New York, home. By the 1850s, spiritualist adherents on both sides of the Atlantic, including the famous newspaper editor Horace Greeley, were touting their communications with the deceased. Anthony de Francisci’s medal portrays Kate’s worn features as they may have appeared when the spiritualist fad was dying away. The movement lost credibility in the late 1880s when Kate’s alcoholism overtook her and Margaret confessed that their childhood experience had been a hoax played on their gullible mother.
Kate Fox, Medal
- On View
4 1/2 in. (11.5 cm) diam.
- Credit Line
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Gift of Mrs. Gilda Slate
- Mediums Description
- gilded white metal
- Portrait female – Fox, Kate – bust
- Portrait female – Fox, Kate – elderly
- Object Number
- Linked Open Data
- Linked Open Data URI