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Current Exhibits
Upcoming Exhibits
Guidelines for Exhibits


Manhattan Campus Library
Library History



Current Exhibit


Pamela Colman Smith: Life and Work

On view: January 31, 2019 - April 11, 2019
Opening reception and tarot reading on January 31, 2019 5:00 - 8:00pm

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.

Exhibit Review from Hyperallergic

Exhibit Review from New York Times

Pratt Institute Libraries – Brooklyn Campus, 200 Willoughby Avenue, enter at the corner of DeKalb Avenue and Hall Street/St. James Place.

Upcoming Exhibits:



Guidelines for Exhibits



The Pratt Institute Library has 9 locking display cases that are available for exhibition purposes. While the cases remain primarily for the display of Library material, their use has been extended to the Pratt community for the exhibition of non-library materials. In accordance with changing needs, a Library Exhibitions Committee has been formed to coordinate the use of the display cases. All decisions as to the use of the cases are made by the committee with the approval of the Director of the Library.

Any material displayed in the Pratt Institute Library should be pertinent to the Institution and its educational and philosophical mission. The Library assumes no responsibility for the artistic or intellectual content of any of its exhibits. The Library is a forum for the free exchange of ideas and does not act as a censor.

The Library is not primarily an exhibition space and its facilities are limited. Other resources designated for exhibition purposes include the Pratt Galleries and the Student Activities Council, which is in charge of coordinating student gallery space on campus. Individuals wishing to use the Library cases must be affiliated with Pratt Institute, e.g., currently enrolled students, faculty, staff, alumni (with a valid alumni ID card), and Friends of the Library. Exceptions include guest curators.

Pratt Institute is a private college and the Library is routinely open only to persons with valid Pratt ID. Special arrangements must be made in advance of the exhibit before Library access to others will be granted.


Display Duration

Please contact the Library Exhibitions Committee members to reserve a time at least three months in advance.


Display Cases

The 9 locking, flat cases have an interior floor dimension of 24" x 74.75". Each case has a sloping glass top. The interior height at the back of each flat case is 8.25" and the interior height at the front of each case is 3.5".

All display cases are located in the main hallways of the Library: 2 cases are found on the main floor, 4 on the second floor and 3 on the third.

All display cases are located in the main hallways of the Library: 2 cases are found on the main floor, 4 on the second floor and 3 on the third.


All exhibitors must observe the following requirements:

  • Moving Cases: Please do not move the cases without prior approval.
  • Perishable items: No perishable items can be accommodated in any of the exhibit display cases.
  • Storage: The Library cannot accommodate the storage of any artwork(s) before or after an exhibition.
  • Lighting: No extra light or lighting devices can be provided or used in any exhibits.
  • Hanging items: No nails, glue, masking tape, or scotch tape may be used in the display cases. There is no accommodation for hanging artwork(s) on the walls. Any material to be displayed outside the cases must be approved by the Library Exhibitions Committee.
  • No painting: No part of the cases or foyer may be painted.
  • Labels: Flat labels mounted on foam-core or cardboard are recommended. Self-adhesive labels should not be used for display labels. They leave a residue that cannot be removed from display case surfaces.
  • Continuity: The items on display are expected to stay on display for the entire exhibition period.
  • Receptions: Receptions are not normally held in conjunction with exhibits. Arrangements on a case-by-case basis can be made in consultation with a librarian on the Library Exhibitions Committee. A minimum of two weeks is required to organize a reception.
  • Uninstalling: Exhibitors must leave the cases clean. All materials must be removed from the Library at the close of the exhibition.
  • Ignoring the rules: The Library reserves the right to remove displays that do not conform to these rules.

IMPORTANT: Pratt Institute Libraries do not provide insurance coverage for exhibit items. Exhibitors are responsible for providing insurance coverage of items exhibited or exhibit at their own risk. The Libraries are not responsible for any damage, loss, or theft of exhibited items. Any damage incurred to Library property from exhibit items is the responsibility of the exhibitor.






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