Esphyr Slobodkina was a celebrated avant-garde artist and children’s book author. A pioneer in both fields, Slobodkina was one of the first female American artists to explore abstraction and among the first to use collage as illustrational technique in storybooks.

Throughout more than eighty years of productivity, Esphyr Slobodkina worked tirelessly at understanding all things. Deconstructing and reinterpreting knowledge, Slobodkina’s mind found alternative theories and approaches to current trends, beliefs, or whatever she considered mundane.

Slobodkina was an out-of-the-box thinker who confounded all who worked by conventional means. Her art was testimony to this truth. She painted, sculpted, and collaged her way, never trying to persuade or proselytize to anyone who was critical about her style or form.

Slobodkina expressed herself through a variety of mediums, dedicated to presenting the world as she saw it, geometrically, dimensionally realized, ever-moving, non-linear. (See “about the Founder” and “Academic Resources” for more.)

In commemoration of Esphyr Slobodkina’s 111th birthday, September 22,1908, The Slobodkina Foundation honored her with the launch of our new Caps for Sale website.

At CapsforSale.org children will get the chance to learn the story of how Caps for Sale was made, learn about Esphyr Slobodkina the author and artist, and all the other characters from Slobodkina’s many children’s books that are now part of the Caps for Sale series.

Esphyr Slobodkina in her Great Neck studio.
Esphyr Slobodkina in her Great Neck studio.
Esphyr Slobodkina working on Caps for Sale
Esphyr Slobodkina working on Caps for Sale

In 1948 Esphyr Slobodkina bought a house and moved to Great Neck, NY, with her mother. She now had space to paint larger works. Here Slobodkina takes a break from abstract to produce a mural for her own enjoyment. Critics occasionally commented that Slobodkina should stay true to her passion and only paint abstractly, to which Slobodkina replied, “Nothing is too beautiful for me…I paint whatever I want”.