the website is dedicated to the commemoration of the artistic heritage of painter Menachem Shemi (1897-1951), a pioneering artist who participated in laying the foundations of the Israeli art of painting as we know it today. The catalogue therein is the first of its kind for an Israeli artist published on the internet.
The website, which was inaugurated in September 2009, is based on extensive research conducted over many years covering museums, public and many private collections and is thus the extensive, unique and authoritative concentration of information on Menachem Shemi and his oeuvre.
The core of the website is the Catalogue Raisonné which documents the 400 currently known to us Shemi oil paintings. In its present form the catalogue provides essential data on each painting and as it develops over time this information will be further extended.
The website has been constructed and its content presented in a viewer-friendly fashion, including younger users, with the intention of making Shemi's heritage accessible to as wide and varied a public as possible. That too is the reason the site is bi-lingual, Hebrew and English, so as to make the Israeli art heritage accessible to the international public.
The website is wholly dedicated to Menachem Shemi and his art and yet in its design and the processing of its content attention was given to the need of conserving the Israeli art heritage for generations to come before it is lost and doomed to extinction. This website is therefore a prototype and a model to be used in conserving, researching and perpetuating the legacy of many of Israel's founding artists.
The task is great and as yet incomplete. Financial donations will help a lot towards its advancement and will be accepted with gratitude and appreciation.
Catalogue Raisonné is an extensive professional catalogue whose purpose is to present the entire range of an artist's oeuvre or specific parts thereof (by type of work; period; etc). In the case of Menachem Shemi, the catalogue covers the entire range of his known oil paintings, about 400 pictures. Arranged according to professional rules, the catalogue is considered the authoritative source of information and yardstick of the artist's work. In general, a catalogue raisonné is meant to be the definitive documented reference of the artist's work and it is fitting that all his paintings should be listed therein. Thus, we ask anyone who holds a Menachem Shemi painting not documented in the catalogue to contact the website administrator; if the painting meets the necessary criteria, it too will be included in the catalogue.
The website was launched to coincide with the opening of the exhibition "Menachem Shemi - Man and Artist" at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (September 2009) followed by exhibitions at the Haifa Museum of Art (February 2010) and at the Museum of Art, Ein Harod (September 2010). The site is bilingual with the English content added soon after the Hebrew. Due to the extensive work involved in its preparation, the site will be developed incrementally and its content expanded over time. It is therefore recommended that the site be revisited periodically. The website is set along patterns common to the Catalogue Raisonné Scholars Association, under whose auspices similar catalogues are produced around the world.
Catalogue Number - a four-digit is assigned to every painting in the collection, starting with 0001 and often followed by a letter: a, b, c, etc. Numbers were originally assigned many years ago on a chronological basis. As new paintings were added to the list, they received their corresponding identity numbers according to the time of their painting and were added to the list in their appropriate context by the addition of a letter (for example: 0001, 0001a, 0002).
Measurements of paintings are given in centimeters:
height x width
Dating - The catalogue provides dating for every painting, based on dates inscribed by Menachem Shemi on some of his paintings or by relying on supporting evidence including Shemi's drawings and letters. In some instances, dating was done by evaluation, the designated date being preceded by circa.
Conditions of use
The use of this catalogue for private or academic purposes is free of charge, provided that the source of the copied pictures or information is credited clearly and accurately. The use of pictures or information for any other purposes is prohibited, unless prior authorization has been obtained from the owners of the pictures and/or the information, in accordance with the common practice in such cases.
Questions, comments, information about paintings not included in the catalogue and donations are warmly welcomed. Please contact the website administrator at: [email protected].