We are proud to announce that The Art of Symeon Shimin has been awarded:
★The Independent Press Awards named The Art of Symeon Shimin the Distinguished Favorite for Fine Arts, 2020.
★Winner of 2020 NYC Big Book Award in Arts and Entertainment
★Winner of The 2021 Book Excellence Award for Art
★Winner Pinnacle Book Achievement Award from National Association of Book Entrepreneurs (NABE)
★The 2021 Eric Hoffer Honorary Mention Award for Art.
★ Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist. Art
★ 2021 IPPY Award Winner Bronze Medal Award for Fine Art
"This coffee-table style volume (9.6 x 0.7 x 11.7 inches) is an impressively informative presentation that clearly and effectively showcases the life and work of one of the 20th Century's most gifted artists -- and should be considered an essential and core addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university fine arts collections."—Midwest Book Review
The Art of Symeon Shiminpresents a striking collection of the fine art of this exceptional Russian born Jewish artist. Curated by the artist's daughter, it is the first collection and overview of Shimin’s work. Including an autobiography by the artist, essays by noted arts journalists Josef Woodard and Charles Donelan, over 100 plates and archival photographs, this book showcases art of rare beauty and raw expression.Recognized as an award winning illustrator of more than 50 children’s books, two of his own authoring, Shimin, 1902-1984, was also one of the most highly regarded artists creating posters for Hollywood films, including the original poster for Gone With the Wind and the 40 ft. canvas for Solomon and Sheba. Most notably he was acclaimed for his masterpiece, the mural Contemporary Justice and the Child, commissioned in 1936-1940, by the PWAP, Public Works Arts Project, for the Department of Justice Building, Washington, DC, where it stands today. Chaim Gross stated in 1973, “Shimin is a painter who knows the craft of drawing and painting which in his hands becomes great art.” With paintings held in collections including the Chrysler Museum of Art, this is the first complete collection of his fine art.
“Symeon Shimin was a vessel for the unheard voices of his time. Those who were shunned, he highlighted; for those who were unseen, he provided a stage. He saw the common man for what he was – beautiful, exceptional, and equal.” -Lauren Kinsley, Research Editor
Symeon Shimin was born in Astrakhan, Russia, on the Caspian Sea, in 1902. His family immigrated to the United States ten years later, living in two small rooms behind their delicatessen. Already interested in drawing for a living, Shimin apprenticed himself to a commercial artist at age 16 to help support his family. He attended art classes at Cooper Union Art School at night and briefly at the studio of George Luks. Primarily self-taught, as a young artist he studied the works of the master artists spending time in Spain, France and Mexico. Later trips to Italy proved to be inspirational for him and his work.
In 1936 he was awarded a contract by the PWAP, Public Works Arts Project, to paint the mural “Contemporary Justice and the Child,“ for the Department of Justice Building, Washington, DC, which won wide acclaim. Taking four years to complete it can still be seen today. His paintings have been exhibited by the Whitney Museum in New York and many other museums throughout the United States. Shimin’s work in children's books began in 1950 and he subsequently became a greatly respected illustrator of more than 50 books for children, including two that he also authored. Among other work early in his career, Shimin painted large-scale murals for Hollywood films, creating the original poster for “Gone with the Wind.” He died in New York in 1984.
About Tonia Shimin
As a dancer Tonia Shimin performed in the companies of Martha Graham, Jose Limón, Pearl Lang, The Ypsilanti Greek Theater and as a soloist with Anna Sokolow's Player's Project, Mary Anthony Dance Theater and Repertory West Dance Company. She has had an extensive teaching career in the United States and abroad. Her choreographic works have appeared in the United States, the Czech Republic, Russia, Germany, Turkey, Switzerland, Greece, Italy and Mexico. An award winning dance filmmaker, for among others the documentary Mary Anthony: A life in Modern Dance, her awards have included support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the 2005 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Santa Barbara Dance Alliance. Currently she is Professor Emerita of the Department of Theater Dance at the University of California, Santa Barbara and continues her creative work in the USA and abroad. Most recently she has curated, edited and with Mercury Press International published the award winning book, The Art of Symeon Shimin, on the remarkable work of her father, whose fine art is here shown in a collection for the first time.
His name will “mean something in the long history of painting.”