With the Ranch A commission a success, Molesworth and the Shoshone Furniture Company was poised to grow in what became known as the Molesworth Great Era. Hired shortly thereafter to furnish the lobby of the famous Plains Hotel in Cheyenne, Wyoming, the bright primary colors with Indian and western motifs now adorned furniture of a sleeker and much more finished character than his earlier work. In the era of the great railroads and long summer vacations for the well-to-do, the early western hotels were a fundamental part of the vacation experience. Several other high visibility commissions soon followed, firmly establishing Molesworth’s name and reputation in the minds of prominent potential buyers.
In 1936, with Molesworth’s work gaining increased exposure, efforts to form a Cody Artists Colony were being spearheaded by Mary Jester Allen, niece of “Buffalo Bill” Cody. Her sentiments, as expressed in a letter to the director of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, were simple. “An artist cannot catch the spirit of the West unless he actually stays, lives in the West; becomes in fact a part of it.” Though her vision of the colony never fully materialized, its attempts at organization drew artist Ed Grigware to the Cody area, resulting in what would become a critical relationship for Molesworth’s future.
A cursory examination of Molesworth’s early commissions exhibit artwork of primitive, albeit improving, quality. Many of the designs appear to be copies of someone else’s art. Grigware’s arrival on the scene changed all this, ushering in the start of the signature western and wildlife silhouettes for which the Shoshone Furniture Company became famous. Grigware’s muralist-inspired silhouettes combined with the simple box construction of Molesworth’s furnishings made them a staple component of his work for the next twenty five-plus years. Further blended with Chimayo weavings and Indian traders cultivating Molesworth’s use of southwestern imagery helped make manifest Molesworth’s vision of the true western roomscape.
In 1936 or 1937, Molesworth’s introduced a relatively complete line of furniture containing couches, chairs, tables and other pieces. Mass production of parts enabled a quicker delivery schedule, supporting this period of growth during the Molesworth Great Era.