Esther Morgenstern Gilman, a painter, illustrator and set designer, died of cancer Sunday at her home in Manhattan. She was 63 years old.
Mrs. Gilman's exhibitions here and abroad included a recent retrospective in her native Cleveland. Her prizes include the Robert Boardman award of the Painters and Sculptors Society of New Jersey, the American Institute of Graphic Arts Exhibition award and the Outstanding Children's Book Illustration award for "Little Girl and Her Mother" by Beatrice Schenk de Regnier.
Mrs. Gilman was an editorial board member of the Femninist Press and a consultant for the Open Theater. She created sets for productions at Cafe Cino, Writer's Stage, Van Dam Playhouse, Judson Memorial Church, Theater Genesis and La Mama.
Mrs. Gilman's marriage to Richard Gilman, a drama critic, ended in divorce. She is survived by her son, Nicholas Alexander Gilman.
A memorial service will be held at 4 P.M. today at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.