Pamela Colman Smith: Life and Work Exhibition
- Pratt Institute Libraries, Brooklyn Campus
- Occurrence Date
- Tuesday, February 12, 2019 at 8:30 AM
- January 31, 2019 at 8:30 AM - April 11, 2019 at 11:00 PM
Pamela Colman Smith, renowned for illustrating the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck, began her artistic career in 1893 as a student at the newly founded Pratt Institute. Her artistic output in her brief but successful career included paintings, illustrations, set and costume design for theater, a literary magazine, and books of folklore. Smith moved in bohemian circles both in New York and London, exhibiting at Alfred Stieglitz’s Gallery 291, the first non-photographer to do so, and collaborating with W.B. Yeats, Bram Stoker, and the celebrated actress Ellen Terry.
This exhibition presents an overview of Smith’s life and multi-faceted career, showing books, prints, reproductions of illustrations and paintings, and tarot decks, along with photographs of her illustrious family and friends. Telling her story and providing a context for her work, this exhibit shows how her style, archetypal subject matter, and interest in ancient spiritual traditions profoundly influenced her drawings for one of the most popular tarot decks in use, the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot.
Linking Smith’s time to now, Pratt alumni Emi Brady, David Palladini, Jen May and Phil Williamston, will have tarot decks on display to showcase contemporary variations on the traditional deck.
This exhibition is co-curated by Pratt alumni Colleen Lynch and Melissa Staiger.
On View: January 31–April 11, 2019, open during Library hours.
Opening reception and tarot reading on January 31, 5–8 PM
ACCESS TO PRATT PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIESPratt strives to make all programs, services and activities accessible, and will provide assistance to accommodate any individuals with disabilities. Security personnel, located at booths at 200 Willoughby Avenue and other campus locations, are available for assistance. Additional accessibility resources are available at pratt.edu/accessibility