CARD DECK | Pamela Colman Smith's RWS Deck
RWS Tarot Deck™ presents the beloved 1909 artwork of Pamela Colman Smith in a refreshing new palette of soft, subtle colors framed with elegant ivory parchment borders. Staying true to Pamela’s original creation, this authentic reproduction deck features her hand-lettered titles. Minor art flaws have been left untouched to preserve the antique appearance of the deck.
78-card deck includes a 36-page booklet of tarot meanings with Introduction by Stuart R. Kaplan.
About Pamela Colman Smith
She was born February 16, 1878, in Middlesex, England to American parents. Her childhood years were spent between London, New York, and Kingston, Jamaica. During her teens, she traveled throughout England with the theatre company of Ellen Terry and Henry Irving. Thereafter, she began formal art training at the Pratt Institute of Brooklyn, graduating in 1897.
Although American by birth, she returned to England, where she became a theatrical designer for miniature theatre, and an illustrator -- mainly of books, pamphlets and posters.
Around 1903, she joined the Order of the Golden Dawn. In 1909, under the guidance of Arthur Edward Waite, she undertook a series of seventy-eight allegorical paintings described by Waite as a rectified tarot pack. The designs, published in the same year by William Rider and Son, exemplify the mysticism, ritual, imagination, fantasy, and deep emotions of the artist.
Pamela Colman Smith would all but be forgotten except for the seventy-eight tarot paintings known as the Rider-Waite Tarot pack. She would no doubt be astonished and gladdened to know that today the deck touches the hearts and emotions of millions of people.