Occultism and esoteric movements achieved unprecedented popularity in the late 19th century. Many artists were inspired by spiritualism, theosophy and the study of psychic phenomena, which came to be known later as parapsychology.
Clairvoyance became one of the most fascinating topics of the period. Many people believed that the sixth sense and the inner eye of the soul made it possible to perceive the more subtle levels of reality that would normally remain unseen. Artists began to portray themselves, their friends and the masters that they admired as extrasensory seers and psychics.
The exhibition focuses on art of the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Along with Akseli Gallen-Kallela, it features Pekka Halonen, Hugo Simberg, Beda Stjernschantz, Ellen Thesleff, Sigrid af Forselles and Sigurd Wettenhovi-Aspa. Also on display are later works from the 20th century by Ester Helenius and Eemu Myntti, an contemporary artist Veli Granö among others.
The curator of the exhibition is Nina Kokkinen, a researcher of art and religion and the present exhibition is largely based on her published doctoral dissertation.