Saturday, October 24, 2015

Goodbye Esther Geller


My mother, artist Esther Geller, passed away on October 22, 4 days before her 94th birthday. It was not unexpected, as she had broken her hip in a fall two weeks ago, and had undergone an operation to repair it despite her serious health problems and aged frailty. She was in constant pain after the operation. She was transferred to a rehab home but shortly after arriving there, she suffered a massive stroke, brought on by the stresses of the operation and transfer, and died almost immediately.

In a way, it was a relief as my mother's last year was marked by increasing deterioration both  physical and mental. I arranged for home care but that was difficult for her to accept. I visited as many times as I could, and was there for her last days. It was hard to watch her suffer and I am glad that she no longer has to endure pain and confusion.

Esther Geller was one of the pioneering modern artists in Boston's art history. She was a graduate of the Boston Museum School, where she studied with Karl Zerbe and learned the art of encaustic painting. She was a daring woman artist in the male-dominated world of "fine arts." Her 70-year career took her to Europe and back to the Boston area where she showed art at the long-gone Boris Mirski Gallery on Boston's artsy Newbury Street. She painted with no intent to market or sell, and didn't work to commission. She occupied a studio in an old office building in the historic center of Natick, Massachusetts for about 20 years.

The picture you see here was taken in July of this year, at a show of my mother's works at the Center for Arts in Natick. She was able to attend the opening and gave interviews. She also sold some paintings to art-lovers. 

After the show the paintings were returned to the family home, where most of my mother's output is currently stored. I am hoping to find good homes for all these paintings, whether in a museum or private collection. This is my mother's legacy and I want it to survive. Here is a selection of my mother's paintings as I featured them on Flickr. My mother taught me to do art, and that is her legacy too. 

Esther Geller,  October 26, 1921 - October 22, 2015.

2 comments:

Mike said...

You're in my thoughts, Pyra.
Take care.

MKS said...

You must be exhausted. I'm so sorry. Her paintings are beautiful.