Anne Shams Art


Media: tempera on paper, using three primary colors- magenta,

turquoise, yellow- and white and black.  All paintings are 22” x 30.”

    How does a raised-Catholic, lapsed-Mennonite shiksa get the chutzpah to paint scenes of the Jewish wedding? And why call them "The Marriage of Heaven and Earth?" It's really very simple:

    Like many of us, I grew up with mysteries about which I was forbidden to ask questions, including the whispered family legend that my maternal grandmother, a terrifying woman, was secretly a Jew. She was German born and a Paris dressmaker when she met my grandfather, who was a WWI soldier under General Pershing. They married and moved to his family tobacco farm in Mississippi.

    The other inspiration comes from the Klezmer CD by Ellipsis Arts, A Marriage of Heaven and Earth. The title refers to the belief that the union of man and woman in the Jewish wedding ceremony is above all, a metaphor for the union of God and the believer. Jiri Langer, in Nine Gates to the Chasidic Mysteries, puts it best:

    "The most beautiful Chasidic doctrine is undoubtedly that of the spiritual nature of all matter... all matter is full of supernatural 'sparks' of the holiness of God, and purely human functions such as eating and drinking, bathing and sleeping, dancing and the act of love are dematerialized and considered as the most sublime actions in the service of God."

    In these paintings I represent several ethnic and religious groups because Judaism embraces the Spanish, Eastern European, Latin American, African, Arab, Egyptian, the orthodox and the liberal.



With the exception of two paintings in private collections, the paintings were purchased for the common room of Cedar Sinai Park in Portland, Oregon.


Paintings of the Jewish Wedding : The Marriage of Heaven and Earth

Click on image to go to view all paintings in this series.

Frameable greeting cards of all of the Paintings of the Jewish Wedding are available.

Click here to  purchase.