Honoring Gertrude Moakley
Gertrude Moakley is my tarot history muse and the wise and magical aunt I wish I could have had. We never had an image of her until the late Michael J. Hurst found her yearbook picture from Barnard College. I always imagine her in the 1950s as a gray-haired librarian in tweeds and sensible shoes, a Waite Smith deck hidden in her purse, slipping away from her colleagues at the public library to have lunch with Eden Gray.
After graduating from Barnard College, then the Columbia School of Library Science in 1928, Moakley began a 40-year career with the New York City Public Library. In the 1950s, she published two articles in the Bulletin of the New York Public Library: on the Waite Smith deck’s influence on T.S. Eliot’s poem The Wasteland; and on the relationship between the Visconti-Sforza trumps and Petrarch’s poem I Trionfi. Read more