*A Name Change from Carol Tranter to Pearl Jones Tranter

Completing my Master of Arts degrees in Art did not bring me immediate employment in the Art World so I joined the Swallow Collective, a restaurant in the basement of the University Art Museum in Berkeley, California. Each of us did odds and ends of hours as suited our lifestyles, skills, and talents. In the beginning, I bussed and washed dishes a lot; and as 5 women of out of the 33 people in the collective were named “Carol,” I elected to use the name “Pearl” as Pearl Diver is the name given to the person who washes dishes in “restauranteeze” jargon. I washed dishes most of the time in those days and the name stuck.

I continued to make pictures and assemblages with photographs. One day, a handsome fellow came along and asked me to be in a photography show he was sending to Australia called Bent Photography, and would I like to be included in the group. I said, “yes” of course and with that I became an internationally shown photographer known as Carol Tranter.

Another day, my housemate, a preparator at the museum, called me up and said, “Pearlie, someone has dropped out of a show and they need a replacement fast. Can you go home and bring back some of your work to show the director….NOW!”, and I did, wrapping my photographic assemblage in thrift shop 1920's and 30's tablecloths.

The work was good and they gave me my first one-person show in the basement of the museum near the restaurant and the restrooms and the entry to the Pacific Film Archive theatre. The show was titled: Carol Tranter Recent Works.

A couple of years later, that handsome fellow came back to the cafe and said, “I’ve just been selected to be the Chair of the Photography Department at the San Francisco Art Institute and I’m looking for a new dark-room manager, can you suggest someone?” After some thought, I said, “How about me?” And he said, “OK, come on over next week for an Interview with the President of the school and one of the other photo faculty members.” And then he asked, “What name will you use?” I hesitated long enough for him to say, “I think you should use “Pearl.” And I said, “I’ll use my maiden name to confuse things more! You can call me, “Pearl Jones.” And, that was even before I knew they already had a pony-tailed, highly-regarded, photo faculty member of the Ansel Adams bent, named, Pirkle Jones.

Three intense years later, I was on my way to Italy, recipient of a Fulbright Grant to do an independent study in photography with writing as Carol Jones Tranter, also known as Pearl Jones. Years later, my name of choice became Pearl Jones Tranter AKA Carol J. Tranter. But that’s another story. Or is it.