Book Launch: Lost Envoy - The Tarot Deck of Austin Osman Spare - Camden Art Centre

Book Launch: Lost Envoy – The Tarot Deck of Austin Osman Spare

Wednesday 11 May, 7.00 – 9.00pm / free 

Launching Lost Envoy, a new book edited by artist Jonathan Allen, which brings into public view the recently discovered hand-painted tarot cards by English artist and mystic Austin Osman Spare. The book launch on Wednesday 11 May includes talks by Jonathan Allen and Phil Baker from 7.10pm and a performance Which Paterson? by artist Marcia Farquhar at 8.30pm.

This event is accompanied by a showcase of the cards in our Artists’ Studio until Sunday 15 May. 

Shown publicly for the first time in their history, this forgotten deck of 79 cards were hand-painted by Spare c.1906. Recovered by artist Jonathan Allen from the archives of The Magic Circle Museum in London, the cards predate the well-known Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck. Spare’s experimental deck is highly unusual for combining playing card cartomancy with tarot cartomancy, and for the presence of images and texts that bridge the unfixed region between cards when two or more are placed alongside one another.


Supported by Arts Council England, the Arts & Humanities Research Council, Contemporary Art Research Centre at Kingston University and The Magic Circle