Featured Ketubahs

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Well, my friend, if you’ve scrolled down this far, you deserve a story. I was not always a Judaica artist – or maybe I was, but I didn’t know it. If you had met me circa the year 2005, you would see a very frazzled 20-something, wearing paint splattered overalls and old Doc Martins, living the starving artist life in New York City.

Back then, fresh out of art school, I focused exclusively on figure painting and portraiture. I would stay up nights in the tiny apartment I shared with three other girls, painting while balancing on my wobbly mattress because that was the only way to get my easel to fit in my little bedroom. I showed my work in dusty art spaces in hidden alleys around lower Manhattan and hipster off-beat galleries in Brooklyn, spending my weekends dragging my portfolio gallery to gallery to pitch myself to more venues. New York artist life wasn’t as glamorous as it looks in the movies. Sometimes I loved the intense energy of the city, but a lot of the times I felt overwhelmed by it. The noise and grit of the Lower East Side silenced my muse and highjacked my ability to focus. I realized that I had to go on a journey in search of inspiration.

Judaica artist Anna Abramzon (middle) at her art show in NYC

That’s me in the middle, at one of my gallery show openings in NYC

That’s when I decided to pack my paint brushes and move to Israel. While my Jewish identity was always very important to me and I was inspired by many great Jewish artists – from Marc Chagall to Modigliani to Lucian Freud – I knew almost nothing about traditional Judaica art when I landed in Jerusalem with my suitcases full of art supplies.

Luckily, I landed a really cool job in the art world there that allowed me to visit and explore art shows all over the country. I dived headfirst into the Israeli art scene, immersing myself both in contemporary art and artistic Judaica. That is how I discovered the beauty of Judaica art. I love the Mizrachi and Sephardic influence of decorative art Judaica - the intricate patterns and elaborate craftsmanship blew me away and soon began finding its way into my figure paintings. What once may have been broad brush strokes evolved into swirls and patterns. Jewish symbols such as pomegranates, stars, hamsas, Jerusalem skylines, and trees of life began popping up in my compositions.

Judaica inspired artwork by Anna Abramzon

One of my earliest Judaica-inspired paintings

Before long, my unique blend of combining figurative painting with a modern spin on Judaica art was born. I kept painting and showing my work in galleries in Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Jerusalem. It didn’t occur me to apply my new style to functional Judaica art or to call myself a Judaica artist until later. In Israel I met a wonderful Argentinian boy and we decided to get married. It was then that I painted my first wedding invitation and ketubah. We were the first of our friends to tie the knot, so after our wedding other engaged friends started asking me to make art for their Jewish weddings. This was my entry into the world of Judaic art.

Judaica art: ketubah signing at the wedding of Judaica artist Anna Abramzon

Patricio and I signing our ketubah

A few years later we would move back to the United States. Saying goodbye to Israel and the community we had built there was hard, and saying good bye to my awesome art industry job in Israel was the pits. We arrived in Chicago with a two-month-old and started over. I didn’t want to look for another full-time job that would take me away from my newborn and someone told me about this new marketplace for handmade goods called Etsy. That was when I decided, on a whim, to paint a ketubah to put up there. The rest is history.

The artist with her daughter and a piece of Judaica art

With my first “professional ketubah” and Alma as a baby

Twelve years later, that baby is preparing for her Bat Mitzvah and what was once a pipe dream with just one hand-painted ketubah, has become a thriving small business and a line of Judaica art that includes ketubahs, blessings for the home, mezuzah cases, chuppah covers, wearable art tallitot, challah boards and challah covers, baby naming certificates and more! Thanks for coming along on this journey with me and popping into my online shop. I hope you visit again soon! And if you have any questions or ideas, please send them my way. Emails make my day, truly.

Judaica art has stayed with me for life, has become my life.

These special collections of ketubot may also interest you:

If you like the idea of a ketubah, but you're not Jewish, you might want to check out a marriage certificate instead!