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In the spiritualistic context, mediums are mediators of messages from supernatural spheres. They experience themselves as instruments of unknown powers. Mediums are able to temporarily switch off conscious control and leave their bodies disposed to influences that are experienced as coming from outside the boundaries of the person and usually appear personified as spirits. This happens predominantly in states of trance. Under the influence of the teachings and milieus of spiritism, they give news of the afterlife and its inhabitants. The announcements come about automatically, without conscious intervention, through automatic speaking, writing and even drawing and painting. In the course of time, many drawing mediums no longer perceive their activity as relinquishing control completely to a foreign power, but increasingly as a collaborative effort with unseen entities.

The Collection of Mediumistic Art is a private collection and has been compiled by psychologist Elmar R. Gruber over a period of 40 years. Gruber’s fascination with mediumistic art was based on the fact that it united two of his major fields of interest: art as well as transpersonal and paranormal experiences. Gruber himself was artistically active and came into contact with mediumistic artists as a university student in the late 1970s. Intrigued by his first encounters with mediumistic artists, he began to collect their works of art.

However, it was not his intention to build up an art collection. He liked to surround himself with these works and was particularly interested in the conditions under which mediumistic works of art were created, the worldviews transported by them, and the peculiar formal and stylistic correspondences in the works of various authors.

His encounters led in part to lifelong friendships with some mediumistic artists such as Narciso Bressanello, Milly Canavero, Zory Lovari and K. N. Narayana Murthy. He did not systematically search for mediumistic art, since his original collection area were early editions of books on occultism, hermetic traditions, and Western esotericism. At some point, however, Gruber realized he had accumulated a considerable number of works by mediumistic artists. Correspondences in the works between the artists who knew nothing about each other and who were often active in completely different epochs, countries, cultural areas and social contexts, increasingly amazed him. This motivated Elmar R. Gruber to develop what he had unsystematically accumulated into a collection in order to make the resonances and secret connections visible by confronting the works of different authors.

More than 60 artists are now represented in the CoMA with more than 1300 works, a selection of which is presented on this website.

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