Pamela Colman Smith

From Academic Kids

Pamela Colman Smith (1878 - 1951) was an artist, illustrator, and writer. Her chief claim to fame is designing the Rider-Waite-Smith deck of tarot cards for Arthur Edward Waite.

Smith was born in England to American parents, and grew up in Jamaica. She toured with the theatre company of Ellen Terry and Henry Irving in the late 1890s, where she joined the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and met Waite. She also did a great deal of illustration work for William Butler Yeats and his brother Jack, but apart from this deck, her art found little commercial success.

In addition to the tarot deck, Smith wrote and illustrated several books about Jamaican folklore, including Annancy Stories (1902) which were about Jamaican versions of tales involving the traditional African folk figure Anansi the Spider.

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