The most significant painter of American cartomancy is probably Harry Herman Roseland (c.1867—1950). He was born and died in Brooklyn and was most known for depicting the lives of African-Americans, especially black women reading tea leaves, palms and cards for white women. Oprah Winfrey has stated that her favorite picture in her own collection is, ironically, Roseland’s wrenching portrayal of “a woman who is about to be sold into slavery and separated from her young daughter,” To the Highest Bidder. (Oprah has two more of Roseland’s paintings in her library.) See more of Roseland’s work here and here. Compare the works below with the images of cartomancers from Russia, France, England and Italy found here. And read “Aunt B’s” cultural analysis of these paintings here.

Harry Roseland card 6Roseland-1903

Harry Herman Roseland - 1870s

Harry_Roseland The_Fortune_Teller_1904

Harry Herman Roseland Its All in the Cards1898

Harry Roseland Reading The Cards 1899