Jos. A. Smith Witches and Witchlore

We have a new temporary exhibition space now within the museum and we will be showing a wide variety of work and objects within the space each year. We are starting off with a show of the original artworks from Erica Jong's 1980 book, 'Witches' illustrated by Jos. A. Smith. With a long and varied career as an artist and illustrator, most notably for Time, Newsweek and TheNew York Times, and as an arts educator at New York’s prestigious Pratt Institute, Jos A. Smith (b.1936) has over twenty solo exhibitions to his name.

The forthcoming exhibition at the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic running until November 2015 is the latest, showcasing his original artwork for the seminal book, ‘Witches’ by Erica Jong, first published in 1981.

The book charts the persecution of witches, through poetry, history and stories and also functions as a grimoire, or handbook for contemporary practitioners. Using pen, ink and watercolour, Jos A. Smith’s illustrations vividly explore all aspects of the various guises of the witch: from seductress to crone; perpetrator to victim. His skilled draughtsmanship reflects witchcraft’s connection to nature, with figures seamlessly blending into other forms, to create an otherworldly, eerie presence on the page. These images also express Jos’s own connection to nature through his study of esoteric religion and meditation, as he states: “I am fascinated by the lore that accrues to natural things..”

Displayed together for the first time at the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic, this is the inaugural exhibition in a planned new series of temporary shows to be hosted at the museum from Spring 2015. The newly refurbished temporary exhibition space will allow the museum to examine its rich and varied objects in more depth and will also feature exciting collaborations with artists and researchers. People will have something new to see at the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic every time they visit, alongside the fascinating permanent collection. 

Three prints from the original artworks are for sale from the museum website or shop as high quality art print or as an art card.

Leave a Reply