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Esther Hamerman

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Nationality  American
Known for  Painting
Full Name  Esther Wachsmann
Born  September 21 1886Wieliczka, Poland
Died  1977, New York City, New York, United States

Esther Hamerman (born Esther Wachsmann) (1886-1977) was an American painter.


Early life

She was born in 1886 in Wieliczka, Poland into a Jewish family. She had 13 siblings. When she was 18 she was married. She had four children and the family lived in Vienna.

In 1938, the family fled Vienna because of the Anschluss. For six years they lived in a British internment camp in Trinidad.

Immigration to the United States and career

In 1944 the family was released from the camp and moved to New York City. Hamerman started painting after moving to New York. Her daughter Helen Breger and her husband, Leonard, supported Hamerman's career and submitted a painting of hers to an exhibition at ACA Galleries. That exhibition was her "big break" into the art world.

Hamerman's husband died in 1950. She relocated with her daughter and son-in-law to San Francisco, where she continued to paint.

Later life

She moved back to New York in 1963. She lived with her other daughter, Nadja Merino-Kalfel. She died in 1977 in New York. Her grand-granddaughter is artist Nicole Eisenman.

Notable collections

  • "Untitled (East River)", after 1950, oil on canvas; Smithsonian American Art Museum
  • Work and style

    Hamerman was self-taught and was described as a "leading practitioner" of memory painting by Daniel Belasco, curator at the Jewish Museum. She is considered a folk artist.


    Esther Hamerman Wikipedia