Mary Todd Lincoln
One of Mumler’s most famous portraits is this one of Mary Todd Lincoln. Mrs. Lincoln believed in spiritualism. She had attended seances for years, hoping to contact her three deceased children. She even hosted séances in the White House Red Room. In 1870, she ignored the claims of fraud starting to emerge around Mumler, and asked for a portrait. The resulting image shows the widowed Mrs. Lincoln with by the visage of her late husband, who tenderly rests his hands on her shoulders and looks down toward her. His image is unmistakable; the beard, the floppy hair, the distinctive nose, it was blurry and transparent, but it was definitely the image of President Lincoln. Peter Manseau, who curates the American religious history unit at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History notes the photograph is the last ever taken of Mary Todd Lincoln.