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Pamela Colman Smith

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abrac View Post
Crowley had a lot of cash. According to him in his Confessions, at one point he offered to put everything he had unreservedly at Mathers' disposal in exchange for access to the "Secret Chiefs." Mathers graciously accepted. But their cozy relationship didn't last long and they ended up putting curses on each other.
True - Crowley was fairly rich in his youth from inherited money, but by the 1940s he was living off the charity of his friends/students/OTO membership.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerulean View Post
http://www.scribd.com/doc/9915943/Th...Tarot-Editions

http://www.manteia-online.dk/frame-8-grey.htm

RWCarter's wonderful indexing of forum topics is a good search on many discussions if you want to take a few hours...look at the topic Pamela Colman Smith.

http://www.tarotforum.net/showpost.p...3&postcount=21
Thank you for the above references. I was primarily concerned with PCS after 1910 and have managed to find some more info:

Quote:
Pamela’s last public exhibition was in 1914. After 1920, none of her artistic works seem to have reached the public. Maybe she felt disappointed by the lack of commercial success, maybe she just wanted to live another and more quiet life after the hectic years in the big cities, New York and London. After the first World War,about 40 years of age, she inherited from an uncle, which made it possible for her to buy a house in an artists’ colony in Cornwall. In 1911 she had converted to the Catholic faith and the church now became part of Pamela’s life and her art. She collected religious cards and pictures for inspiration and in 1917, she illustrated a set of thirty cards, "The Way of the Cross" with verses by the French author, Paul Claudel. She engaged herself in local church work and became a sacristan for “Our Lady ofThe Lizard Church”. As a way of income she established a vacation home for Catholic priests in a neighbouring house. She died penniless in 1951.
http://www.scribd.com/doc/9915943/Th...Tarot-Editions

I also found out that after her mother's death, she was left to the care of Ellen Terry, Henry Irving, and Bram Stoker; three senior members of the Lyceum Theatre.
http://www.goldendawnpedia.com/Histo...lemanSmith.htm

Quote:
In late 1918, Pamela received a legacy from a deceased uncle (probably Theodore E. Smith). This money enabled her to permanently relocate to Cornwall in southwest England. This County was and still is an exceptionally beautiful location, popular with artists. However, in my opinion, she chose that area because Pixies were believed to be particularly concentrated in the region around Devon and Cornwall. She always thought herself as a pixie who really didn't fit in well among ordinary humans. She once told W. B. Yeats that she had been able to see fairies in Ireland. I hope that she found and was able to see what she was looking for in Cornwall!

She initially settled in southern Cornwall, at Parc Garland in the Lizard Peninsula. This area is beautiful at any time of the year and is considered to be a wonderful source of inspiration for artists and writers. Almost surrounded by the sea, the peninsula stands alone, in a very real sense, from the rest of Cornwall. She remained there until the beginning of World War II.

In 1942, she moved to Bude, which is a small, exceptionally picturesque, seaside resort town in North Cornwall, located at the mouth of the River Neet. Thereafter, she lived a very quiet life, remaining a Roman Catholic to the end. In 1946, Pamela made one last trip to the United States where she visited the New York artist, Alphaeus Philemon Cole and his wife Peggy. She purportedly told Peggy Cole that she should become a Catholic because it was such fun! PCS died at 2 Bencoolen House in Bude, Cornwall on the 18th of September 1951.
http://pcs2051.tripod.com/index.htm

The same source also says:
Quote:
In 1911, much to the chagrin of her artistic associates and her fraters and sororers in the Golden Dawn, Pixie Smith converted to Roman Catholicism. She apparently remained an actively practicing Roman Catholic for the remainder of her life. This act marked the beginning of a gradual withdrawal from close relationships with almost all of her former friends and colleagues. The amount and frequency of her artistic output also declined. There is virtually nothing known of her artistic work after the end of World War I.
There are however, no references to back up what one can only assume is opinion that her Catholicism marked a life long schism between herself and her GD fraternity. There is no source material from her or her former friends to say that she had decided that since she was now a Catholic she could not associate with them. Many Golden Dawn members were Christians. I also don't see how conversion to Catholicism means she can't produce art or mix with artistic types.

It would be interesting to find her actual thoughts on this and reasons for her self imposed isolation. Cornwall is of course remote and in those times communication was difficult although people wrote letters and visited each other.

There is of course a belief in the supernatural, that she sees fairies and pixies. Some might call this psychosis. Unless of course she wasn't serious.
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About her grave ! It wasn't Lillie, it was Fulgour.

http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=28086

Also from him in another thread:

Quote:
Wicce's is so helpful. Have you ever thought about this:
Pam chose to live in Cornwall, and stayed over 30 years
there ~ not bad for a single gal, moving to seaside Bude.

As for "dying penniless" and such, who's to say? She lived
exactly where, and just as she wished to. Goodbye, rat race.
And her grave ~ where is it... I think the locals have cared
enough to keep that private matter respectfully sacrosanct.
I find this entirely convincing, myself.
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Originally Posted by gregory View Post
About her grave ! It wasn't Lillie, it was Fulgour.

http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=28086
There is no grave. It's a link to a graveyard. She was buried in a hole with other people without means. They know where she is buried and that is a graveyard. Exactly where is unknown due to the nature of burial.

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I find this entirely convincing, myself.
This is conjecture.
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Originally Posted by caridwen View Post
There is no grave. It's a link to a graveyard. She was buried in a hole with other people without means. They know where she is buried and that is a graveyard. Exactly where is unknown due to the nature of burial.



This is conjecture.
As is the assumption of a pauper's grave.

ETA if it's in a churchyard, the fact that she was buried at "public expense" does NOT mean she was in a grave with others. MOST churchyards insisted that people were buried individually at the time (religion is quite hot on dignity) - though also most really old graves do have other people buried on top of them in the end.

Not quite the same thing as a mass pit, which as far as I can find out did NOT happen in churchyards, only in municipal cemeteries.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregory View Post
As is the assumption of a pauper's grave.
You'll have to take that up with Kaplan:

Quote:
Unfortunately, she died dead broke in 1951 without any assets. No one could pay for her burial so she was put into a pauper's grave in Cornwall, England. When I went there ten years ago to try to find her gravesite -- we were going to erect a tombstone -- we were told that if you were destitute, your grave was actually put on top of another person's grave and after twenty-five years there was no way to find out where she was actually buried.
http://www.lightworks.com/MonthlyAsp...une/699-02.htm

He is either a liar and didn't visit the site in order to erect a grave or he did and she was buried in a paupers' grave. Since every single article I have read cites her as dying penniless, I doubt Kaplan is making stuff up.
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Oh I've no issue with her dying penniless.

But if (as it appears) her grave is in a churchyard, it would just have been what they called an unmarked grave, NOT like Mozart's - a pit with lime and body bags and the rest. (I've found several where people were disinterred from public graves and reburied in hallowed ground just so as to have a grave of their own, until - as, yes, happens, someone else was put on top - which happened to pretty much everyone in the end....)

As for Kaplan - because he couldn't find it doesn't mean it wasn't there. No-one looking for any of the Quaker graves near where I live would have found any of them - they are all unmarked.

Also - Kaplan is American. We recently had Canadian friends over here looking for a family grave they had been told was in "the village cemetery" - had it not been for my SO's knowledge of these things they would not have found it (along with those of four more relatives they had never even heard of !); in the area their family had come from, the "village cemetery" was 4 miles out of town, and these people had been looking at all the ones IN town... I've no idea who was guiding Kaplan, but this kind of thing happens a lot, and holds up all sorts of genealogy searches. And I think he would be very receptive to information like that. He's no liar, no.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregory View Post
Oh I've no issue with her dying penniless.

But if (as it appears) her grave is in a churchyard, it would just have been what they called an unmarked grave, NOT like Mozart's - a pit with lime and body bags and the rest. (I've found several where people were disinterred from public graves and reburied in hallowed ground just so as to have a grave of their own, until - as, yes, happens, someone else was put on top - which happened to pretty much everyone in the end....)
I suggest you contact Kaplan for further information. He was in the actual graveyard where she was buried. So he managed to find the burial site. On further enquiry he was told that since she had no money, she was placed on top of other bodies. It would therefore be impossible to find exactly where she was buried in order to place a gravestone on the site.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caridwen View Post
I suggest you contact Kaplan for further information. He was in the actual graveyard where she was buried. So he managed to find the burial site. On further enquiry he was told that since she had no money, she was placed on top of other bodies. It would therefore be impossible to find exactly where she was buried in order to place a gravestone on the site.
Exactly. Bodies were placed on top of others all the time. Still are.

As my father's gravedigger said "like digging in rabbit pie..."
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I found another interview with Kaplan with information on PCS:

Quote:
Pamela was influenced by many different events and circumstances in her life. Theater scenes were certainly powerful. Her time with the famed actress Ellen Terry proved pivotal in her life. Her ability to paint interpretations of music from Bach, Debussy and other composers was a strong influence. She moved around a lot, initially with her parents, and she was exposed to different cultures. Certainly, the influence of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, along with Arthur Edward Waite, the Yeats brothers, [ref. W B Yeats] and other luminaries she met, all contributed to her knowledge and ultimate expression in her work...

Malcolm Muckle
The mystical side of PCS seems almost hereditary, given her previous generations' interest in the spiritual philosophy of Swedenborg; this must surely have been enhanced by her contact with W. B. Yeats (a member of a reading group of Swedenborg's works) with whom I gather she felt a close affinity despite their age difference. Yet her own beliefs eventually turned to Catholicism - maybe under Waite's influence. Did PCS produce much artistic work after that?

Stuart Kaplan
Pamela enjoyed some initial exposure in a series of Broad Sheets published in 1902, and The Green Sheaf editions released in 1903. Her star appeared to be rising in 1907 when Alfred Stieglitz exhibited her work in his Gallery 291 in New York City, and she received positive reviews. In 1909 she drew the designs for the Rider-Waite Tarot deck for very little money. She also illustrated several books, and tried publishing ventures, but by 1915 her artistic efforts seem to have faded. It is hard to say whether her decision to convert to Catholicism led to her diminished artist interests. More likely, the fact that her efforts did not prove financially successful played a greater part in her decision to try to earn a livelihood elsewhere...

Malcolm Muckle
In reviewing what I know and have read about Pixie, I can't help but be struck by a sense of sadness at her life; she seemed to have such extraordinary gifts, and yet her life seemed to have gone into reverse after about 1908/9 with her art undergoing enhanced inappreciation, if I can put it that way, despite the superb artistic reviews she had received earlier in New York. There was almost a long, slow retreat from the world and from people. Why do you think that was?

Stuart Kaplan
I believe that after her exciting life with Ellen Terry, Pamela was very lonely. Her poem, Alone, is a sad commentary to her feelings of inadequacy and lack of recognition. In 1914 she gave away her personal Visitors Book with the sad inscription inside the back cover stating that she didn’t like people any more. She withdrew because people did not appreciate her. She didn’t really fit into the British life as we imagine it. She would sit on the floor before a group of her friends and tell Jamaican stories. She was very esoteric in her life style.

Malcolm Muckle
In common with many people who have had a childhood in more than one country, PCS seems to have experienced a sense of dislocation from ordinary life. Was art a way of assuaging this?

Stuart Kaplan
Actually, I think for a while Pamela thrived in her unusual life style. She would hold soirees with intimate friends, sitting on the floor and was, for a short period of time, the center of attraction for a small group who found her different, childlike, amusing, talented, but it all eventually faded. For a time, art was a escape, a way for her to express herself, but it could not carry her into a happy life.

Malcolm Muckle
Looking at the - one can only use the word "famous" - Rider-Waite/Smith Tarot deck, how much of the design came from PCS and how much from Waite; was PCS left alone to do the "pips"?

Stuart Kaplan
Much has been made of the influence of Arthur Edward Waite in Pamela’s renderings of the 78 card tarot deck. The fact is, as illustrated in the chapter on Pamela Colman Smith in Volume III of The Encyclopedia of Tarot, I show several cards that clearly bear a strong resemblance to the Sola-Busca pack originally prepared in the fifteen century. I believe Pamela drew in large measure upon her own vision and interpretations, and there were certainly outside influence from people such as Waite.
http://www.staar.org.uk/interviews/S...lan.html#alone
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