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The art of tarot at L.A.'s Craft and Folk Art Museum

January 28, 2010 |  9:46 am
Temperance.jpeg Earlier this week The Times' arts section ran this story on a new tarot card exhibition at the Craft and Folk Art Museum. "The Fool's Journey: The History and Symbolism of the Tarot," which opened last weekend and runs through May 9, places tarot cards in a cultural and artistic context.

The show already has been unexpectedly successful, according to a museum spokeswoman. A curator's lecture last Sunday drew more than 100 people and was standing-room-only. Afterward the  gift shop sold out of  tarot card decks and tarot card books. They are now desperately trying to restock.

Tarot seems to have tapped into the zeitgeist as we feel our way into this new decade, and make sense of the sea changes that came with the '00s. A flip through a tarot deck seems as good a starting point as any.

Robert M. Place, the writer and illustrator who curated the exhibition, insists that tarot cards should not be used for fortune telling, but rather as a tool for tapping into self-knowledge that can be valuable for facing the future. Whatever helps.

The museum is selling giclee prints of about 40 different tarot images, most of which come from decks that Place created. (That's temperance shown above.) They come in two sizes: the 9-by-12-inch prints, from a limited edition of 1,000, cost $30 each. The 11-by-14-inch prints, from an edition of 100, cost $400 each. All the prints are signed and numbered.

"The Fool's Journey: The History and Symbolism of the Tarot," at the Craft and Folk Art Museum, 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 937-4230 or www.cafam.org. Open Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. Ends May 9.

-- Deborah Netburn

Photo credit: Courtesy of CAFAM

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