"Folk Dance" (Encaustic, mid - 40s)
No artist succeeds alone, by him-or-herself. They always have someone whose contacts and networks give them an opportunity to advance. This is true for Esther as well. In the mid-thirties she worked in the ancient textiles and antiquarian department of the Boston Museum and this connected her with many antiques, arts, and crafts specialists, including the renowned Boris Mirski Gallery on Boston’s art-centered Newbury Street. In the mid- 40s and later, Esther pieces were shown there.
Another Esther helper was very practical: Harold Shapero, who had carpentry skills, helped her assemble frames and reinforced hardboards for the larger encaustic pieces. You can still see their handwork on the back of the big panels, as well as Boris Mirski’s elegant ancient Greek adhesive design identifying the piece.
But the most important thing in Esther’s early career, besides the fundamentals of art-making, encaustic, and studio techniques, was the art colony culture that she entered in the 1940s, at the “MacDowell Colony” (now called just “MacDowell”), and elsewhere, which gave her great networking opportunities as well as lifelong friends.