Susan L. Aberth

  • Tompkins H. Matteson, Trial of George Jacobs, August 5, 1692, 1855, oil on canvas, 39 × 53".


    THAT AMERICA IS HAUNTED—by the specters of its genocidal and racist histories; by the lingering ghosts of personal and national trauma; and by the aura emanating from the unrelenting desires of its citizens to seek connection with the otherworldly, be it through séances or extraterrestrial contact—is certainly no secret. Indeed, in a country obsessed with the paranormal, one might well wonder why it has taken so long for that fixation to trickle from popular culture into the museum. Perhaps one of the reasons is that it is a complicated and messy subject, especially for a discomfited art world