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Europe and the Spirit World or the Fascination with the Occult, 1750-1950

‘Europe and the Spirit World or the Fascination with the Occult, 1750-1950’ is a cross-disciplinary exhibition exploring the influence of the occult on artists, thinkers, writers and scholars throughout Europe, at decisive moments in the history of the modern world. The exhibition is organized into three sections:
- The creative arts: painting, drawing, sculpture, print-making and photography, the literature of the irrational and unexplained.
- The esoteric tradition revisited, with an extensive chronological survey encompassing the movement’s foundational texts and print iconography.
- The relationship between occult phenomena and the scientific world, through key scholarly figures and thinkers, and an examination of their experiments and scientific instruments.
With some 500 works of art, 150 scientific artefacts, 150 books and 100 documents from a host of European countries, Europe and the Spirit World will be presented in a dedicated 2500-m² space at the the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Strasbourg.

Serge Fauchereau, art historian
Joëlle Pijaudier-Cabot, chief heritage curator and director, Musées de la Ville de Strasbourg

Associate curators
Daniel Bornemann, curator, reserve collections, Bibliothèque nationale et universitaire de Strasbourg
Anny-Claire Haus, curator, Cabinet des Estampes et Dessins de Strasbourg
Estelle Pietrzyk, curator, Musée d’Art moderne et contemporain de Strasbourg
Sébastien Soubiran, scientific historian, director of museum policy at the Jardin des Sciences - Université de Strasbourg
Marie-Dominique Wandhammer, curator, Musée Zoologique de Strasbourg

Exhibition staging and design
Benoît Grafteaux & Richard Klein, architects, d.p.l.g.

This exhibition has been awarded ‘national importance’ status by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication / Heritage department / French museums service, and has received State financial support in the form of an exceptional grant from the Ministry.

Exhibition organised under the patronage of the Ministry of Culture and Communication.

Exhibition patron: Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe.

Exhibition partners