A Bibliography of Works About

Pamela Colman Smith

Bibliography

 

There is a small amount of literature out there about PCS. Some is hard-to-find and some is not. I'll list works that directly relate to her and also works that are peripheral but informative for the times she lived in and the people she knew. This will be updated as often as I get new references.

Primary Works by PCS:

"Two Negro Stories from Jamaica", The Journal of American Folk-Lore, Vol IX, October - December 1896. "Annancy and the Yam Hills" and "De Story of De Man and Six Poached Eggs" are here. This is a prelude to her later (1899) Annancy Stories.

Widdicombe Fair, Doubleday & McClure, 1899

The Golden Vanity and The Green Bed, Doubleday & McClure, 1899

Annancy Stories, RH Russell, 1899

MacManus, Seumas, In Chimney Corners Irish Folk-Tales, Doubleday & McClure, 1899. PCS did the illustrations for this.

The Green Sheaf, Green Sheaf Press, 1903. Thirteen issues.

Waite, Arthur Edward and Smith, Pamela Colman, Tarot Deck, William Rider and Son Limited, 1910

Stoker, Bram, The Lair of the White Worm, William Rider and Son Limited, 1911. PCS did six color plates for this edition only.

Waite, Arthur Edward, The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, William Rider & Son Limited, 1911. PCS did the line art for this book. Many editions.

Terry, Ellen, The Russian Ballet, The Bobbs-Merrill Company, NY AND Sidgwick & Jackson Ltd, London, 1913. PCS did the illustrations for this.

Fuller, Eunice, The Book of Friendly Giants, The Century Company, 1914

 

Direct Sources - Biographical Pieces and Modern Artistic Studies:

Kaplan, Stuart R, The Encylopedia of Tarot, Vol III, US Games Systems Inc, 1990. This volume has a 40+ page article on PCS, her life, and her works. Some of the information is out-of-date. The article is lavishly illustrated with B&W pictures of many of her works, some of which are in Kaplan's collection. This is the easiest source for information on PCS and gives an excellent overview. The pity is of course in those B&W pictures which are on the small side. This is not a difficult volume to find and is well worth the money.

Parsons, Melinda, To All Believers - The Art of Pamela Colman Smith, Delaware Art Museum, 1975. This is the exhibition catalog from the 1975 event. Melinda Parsons is the leading authority on PCS. There are 12+ pages of tiny print and a wealth of biographical and artistic details. There are also 19 good-sized B&W photos of her work. This catalog is a bit difficult to find but does come up occasinally for a reasonable price. This is an excellent resource with detailed notes.

Regier, Kathleen J, ed, The Spiritual Image in Modern Art, The Theosophical Publishing House, 1987. The entire volume is worth reading to get a sense of what motivated various artists. There is an article by Melinda Parsons, "Mysticism and Lond: The Golden Dawn, Synaesthesia, and Psychic Automism in the Art of Pamela Colman Smith." This is a more detailed and current study of influences in PCS' art, again with detailed footnotes. The volume is not hard-to-find.

History of Photography, Alfred Stieglitz 1864-1946, Winter 1996, Taylor & Francis, 1996. Interesting articles on Stieglitz and one by Melinda Parsons on "Pamela Colman Smith and Alfred Stieglitz Modernism at 291." The article is more specific to PCS and Stieglitz with a great footnote section and three B&W photos. Why do I make a fuss over notes? Because they take me to the next level of research. My bookshelves are filling up and I am getting a better idea of the mileu of PCS. Hail Footnotes!!

Eldredge, Charles C, American Imagination and Symbolist Painting, Grey Art Gallery and Study Center, 1979. This is an exhibition catalog and has several pictures and a goodly piece of text on PCS. American Symbolist art is a slightly different thing from its European cousin and this book gives you an informative overview of the topic. It is not very hard-to-find and is essential to place PCS' work in context.

American Women Artists 1819-1947, The Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, 2003. There is a brief biographical piece on PCS in here. One of her pictures, Symbolic Vision, was in the exhibition but is not illustrated. An easy-to-find book.

Indirect Sources including works mentioning PCS or showing illustrations by her in service to another story:

Belford, Barbara, Bram Stoker and the Man Who was Dracula, Da Capo Press, 1996. Slight mention of PCS. Two drawings by her of the 1899 Lyceum Theatre tour. This is a fascinating biography of Stoker and posits a connection between his job as business manager of the Lyceum Theatre and Henry Irving, the actor-manager of the Theatre as the inspiration for the character of Dracula. Anyways, a very good read. Easy-to-find.

Hone, Joseph, ed, J B Yeats Letters to his Son W B Yeats and Others 1869-1922, EP Dutton & Company, Inc, 1946. Willie and Jack's dad and an artist in his own right. A letter from 1899 recounts meeting PCS and her father. A letter from Lily Yeats of 1913 recounts in part, staying with PCS in London. I've just skimmed the rest of the letters but they are worth reading in of themselves. OP but not usually expensive.

Wade, Allan, The Letters of W B Yeats, The Macmillan Company, 1955. In a 1902 letter to Lady Gregory he mentions Pixie Smith (footnote explains more of who she is) in reference to The Stage Society and a production of Yeats' play Where there is Nothing and the possibility of his brother Jack playing a character. Another letter from 1902, again to Lady Gregory, about PCS visiting with sketches of designs for the above play done by her and Edith Craig. A third letter from 1902 to Lady Gregory mentions PCS bringing out a magazine called The Hour-Glass (this did not come to be; the magazine, in a different format, was called The Green Sheaf). A letter from 1904 to Lady Gregory about how, if other things fall through, he will get Pixie Smith to design scenery for a play by Synge for the Abbey Theatre because she is the only one who understands what he wants. I have not read the other letters but, depending on the editing of this collection, it may prove very useful as Yeats was probably the person who introduced PCS to the Golden Dawn. Not overly expensive or hard-to-find.

Auerbach, Nina, Ellen Terry Player in Her Time, WW Norton & Company, 1987. Ellen Terry was a huge influence in PCS' life. PCS lived with her for a while and was life-long friends with Edith Craig, Ellen's daughter. Terry is a fascinating figure all on her own. I do not like this particular biography. There is too much treating Terry as 'victim of being a woman' for my taste. However, there is a nice sketch by PCS of Terry as Ellaline from The Amber Heart and a brief reference to PCS doing the drawings for The Russian Ballet. Easy-to-find.

Terry, Ellen, The Story of My Life, Hutchinson & Co, 1908. No mention of PCS but there is a drawing of hers included in the first edition British version ONLY! Not the American edition which has far fewer pictures overall. This is a good book to read to get an idea of the woman who was a big influence on PCS' life. Not the victim Nina! There is also a book of Terry's correspondence with G Bernard Shaw which is a delight to read - two people playing very coy with each other. I don't have my copy anymore but it is easy-to-find. No mention of PCS there either. The autobiography is a bit hard-to-find but worth it.

Melville, Joy, Ellen and Edy, Pandora Press, 1987. There is actually very little about Edith Craig in this book. Nothing about PCS. There is a drawing of Terry as Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing and as Lady Cicely Waynflete from Captain Brassbound's Conversion. A mildly disappointing book. Easy-to-find.

Cockin, Katharine, Edith Craig (1869-1947) Dramatic Lives, Cassel, 1998. Ellen Terry's daughter and a fascinating woman in her own right. This is a rather good biography with several references to PCS . The real bonus in this book is the inclusion of several caricatures by PCS of Edy and herself. PCS' involvement with The Pioneer Players and the British suffragette movement are touched upon here. Easy-to-find.

Cockin, Katharine, Women and Theatre in the Age of Suffrage The Pioneer Players 1911-1925, Palgrave, 2001. A more detailed study of The Pioneer Players with minor reference to PCS. There is a picture of a program cover PCS designed. Easy-to-find.

History of an American Alfred Stieglitz: "291" and After, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1944?. There is a brief reference to PCS and her first exhibition here. Hard-to-find.

Whelan, Richard, Alfred Stieglitz A Biography, Photography, Georgia O'Keefe, and the Rise of the Avant-Garde in America, Little, Brown and Company, 1995. This is the classic biography of the man. There are several references to PCS. This is the book to read to get a notion of what Stieglitz was all about and why he ultimately dumped PCS as an artist to be cultivated. Easy-to-find.

Waldo, Frank, et al, America & Alfred Stieglitz A Collective Portrait, Aperture Inc, 1979. Lots of essays on the man. A minor PCS reference and a picture from Annancy Tales. Easy-to-find.

Homer, William Innes, Alfred Stieglitz and the American Avant-Garde, New York Graphic Society, 1977. A very good detailed study of Stieglitz's influence in modern art. Minor PCS reference. Again, this book informs you as to why he moved beyond her work. Easy-to-find.

Norman, Dorothy, Alfred Stieglitz An American Seer, Random House, 1973. This is a worshipful treatment of the man. The interesting part is a more detailed telling of PCS' first meeting with him and her first exhibition. Easy-to-find.

Foster, RF, WB Yeats A Life: I. The Apprentice Mage, Oxford University Press, 1998. An excellent study of Yeats with some small references to PCS. He was a great influence on her in theatre and the occult. Easy-to-find. I'm waiting to read the second volume of this.

Contemporary Mentions of PCS:

Ransome, Arthur, The Autobiography of Arthur Ransome, Jonathan Cape, 1976. A friend of PCS, there is a more detailed description of an evening at her house than the next entry. Names are named. A very interesting man in his own right. Fairly easy-to-find.

Ransome, Arthur, Bohemia in London, Chapman & Hall, Limited, 1907. Here is the meeting that is reproduced in The Encyclopedia of Tarot and on this site and several others. The rest of the book is interesting for a glimpse at life in early 1900s London. Fairly easy-to-find.

Teall, Gardner, "Cleverness, Art, and an Artist," Brush and Pencil VI, 1900. An early review of PCS and her work with some lovely pictures of some of her stage designs and her toy theatre and characters. Hard-to-find.

"Als Ik Kan: Notes; Reviews." The Craftsman, IX, (March 1907). A brief review of PCS' art done on the heels of her first exhibition at 291. Hard-to-find in the original, but this is on CD from HistoricalWorks.com.

Macdonald, M Irwin, "The Fairy Faith and Pictured Music of Pamela Colman Smith," The Craftsman, XXIII (1912). A more detailed review of PCS' art with several illustrations. Hard-to-find in the original but this is on CD from HistoricalWorks.com.

Other Books of General Interest for Background:

Dow, Arthur W, Composition, Doubleday, Page & Company, 1925 (and many other editions). This was the very influential teacher from the Pratt Institute that infused the notions of Japanese print-style in PCS and many others. She would have had this book (first edition 1899). Easy-to-find in later editions.

Stebbins, Genevieve, Delsarte System of Expression, Edgar S Werner Publishing & Supply co, 1902. An influential book for the actor which emphasizes certain movements and poses for emotions, etc. PCS would be familiar with these movements in her theatre work and so translated into her art.

Dolmetsch, Arnold, The Interpretation of the Music of the XVII and XVIII Centuries Revealed by Contemporary Evidence, Novello & Co Ltd, 1946 (1916). Arnold Dolmetsch was involved in the early music revival and was influential in Yeats' chanting projects. PCS was familiar with the man and he may have influenced her music paintings through his reconstruction of how early music really sounded. Hard-to-find.

Booth, Michael R, Victorian Spectacular Theatre 1850-1910, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1981. A fascinating look at theatre around the time PCS met up with the Lyceum group. She moved on to new things with Edy Craig and The Pioneer Players but this is the stuff that pleased the public then. There is a section on Henry Irving and the Lyceum Theatre which could have had a great influence on PCS. Historical detail, restraint (there was a tendency towards overload - rather like a current SFX movie with no plot or character), and grand spectacle. Not too hard-to-find.

McPharlin, The Puppet Theatre in America A History 1524 to 1948, Plays, Inc, 1969 (1949). An informative and entertaining overview of toy theatre which were enormously popular in PCS' day, both for children and adults. She herself built one to stage her plays. No reference to her, just good background. Fairly easy-to-find.

Wilson, AE, Penny Plain Two Pence Coloured A History of the Juvenile Drama, George G Harrap & Co, Ltd, 1932. A classic on the toy theatre. Very detailed and highly illustrated. You can get a very good idea of what the whole thing was about and make your own characters. Hard-to-find.

Tickner, Lisa, The Spectacle of Women Imagery of the Suggrage Campaign 1907-14, Chatto & Windus, 1989. An excellent overview of the British suffrage movement and how the various groups employed arts and crafts to get their message across to others. There is a brief mention of PCS and a reproduction of one of her suffrage postcards. A fascinating read for the history of the time. Easy-to-find.

Rosenblum, Robert and Maryanne Stevens and Ann Dumas, 1900 Art at the Crossroads, Harry N Abrams Inc, 2000. A large, lavishly illustrated exhibition catalog that gives you an idea of the art popular in PCS' time. A wide range of styles, illustrated in color, this book is a good background source. Easy-to-find.

Goldwater, Robert, Symbolism, Harper & Row Publishers, 1979. A good, detailed view of the Symbolist movement in Europe. Not always applicable to American Symbolism (see above for a good source for that), it shows you the diversity of the style. Easy-to-find.

 

 

 

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