Esther Trépanier is an associate professor in the Department of Art History at UQAM, where she taught from 1981 to 2020. She also served as the executive director of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec from 2008 to 2011 and as the director of the École supérieure de mode de Montréal from 2000 to 2007. She has written a great deal on Quebec and Canadian art from the first decades of the twentieth century and on questions related to modernity. Some of her publications include Peinture et modernité au Québec, 1919-1939 (Éditions Nota bene, 1998) and Jewish Painters of Montreal. Witnesses of their Time, 1930-1948 (Les Éditions de l'Homme, 2008). Exhibitions that she has curated or contributed to include Marian Dale Scott. Pioneer of Modern Art (MNBAQ, 2000), Women Artists. Conquering a Space: 1900-1965 (MNBAQ, 2009) and Fashion and Appearance in Quebec Art, 1880-1945 (MNBAQ, 2012).
She has given lectures at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts for many years and also wrote an essay in the exhibition catalogue for 1920s Modernism in Montreal: The Beaver Hall Group (MMFA, 2015).