The Art of Symeon
Mural by Symeon Shimin
Contemporary Justice and the Child
Tempera on Canvas, 1936-1940
Awarded by competition for the Public Works Arts Project
Department of Justice Building, Washington DC
"I do not know by what mystery or alchemy I was transformed into becoming an artist – painter - when up to the age of eleven years, I wanted above all else to be a musician. However, when I was told in no uncertain terms that I would not be allowed to be one – within a week – I began to draw for the first time in my life – and to this day I never stopped drawing and painting. What makes this event more strange is the fact that from the very beginning I drew as an adult and not as a child. It was people that I wanted to paint – then and now. I was deeply affected not only by our own poverty but by the teeming life around me as well – their haunting faces and their dignity never left me."
Oil on Canvas,
Quotes & Testimonials
“By far the larger part of contemporary painting fails to excite me. I keep looking hopefully for something that will open my eyes and understanding to a new conception of art expression. And I found it the other day in Washington, on the third floor of the Department of Justice. The painter’s name Symeon Shimin, meant nothing to me, but unless I am hopelessly sunk in the swirling sea of art appreciation, that name will mean something in the long history of painting. The subject is “Contemporary Justice and the Child.” The medium tempera on canvas. Any attempt of mine to describe it in words would be as futile as a Baedeker description of Mona Lisa. It is good.”
Henry J. Saylor
The Architectural Forum, December, 1940
Discussion Groups Rome
Oil on Canvas,1956-1957
Collection of Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, VA
The Art of Symeon Shimin showcases an intimate view of the artwork of my father Symeon Shimin, a Russian-born Jewish artist. His deep involvement with justice and the human condition were paramount to the way he lived and painted. This first book devoted to his art includes reproductions of over 65 works, his autobiography Metamorphosis and essays by arts writers Josef Woodard and Charles Donelan.
-- Tonia Shimin
The Art of Symeon Shimin
The Art of Symeon Shimin is available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Ingram, Pathway Books
The Art of Symeon Shimin is a labor of love for the work of a master artist who was ahead of his time. The book includes the most complete selection of his works ever collected, carefully curated and designed. Your contributions help to bring this project to fruition.
Art Without Limits serves as Fiscal Sponsor for The Art of Symeon Shimin, and all donations are tax deductible.
Checks can also be sent directly to and made out to Art Without Limits, 816 Chelham Way, Santa Barbara CA, 93108. Please note the project name on the check, The Art of Symeon Shimin.