(July 17, 1911-May 21, 1989). Born near Edinburgh, Indiana, Grant Wright Christian graduated from the Herron School Of Art in Indianapolis in 1933. His instructors included William Forsyth, Clifton A. Wheeler, David Rubins, and Frank Schoonover. In 1933 and 1934 he continued his art education at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia.

Grant Wright Christian mural in the Birch Bayh Federal Building.
Credit: Library of Congress

In the 1930s Christian’s art took on the Regionalist manner of painting, capturing the varied subjects of the “American scene” in his work. In the 1936 Hoosier Salon exhibition his painting, The Edge Of Town, won the Thomas Meek Butler Prize for Outstanding Landscape. Christian received federal commissions to paint the murals Early And Present Day Indianapolis Life and Mail—Transportation And Delivery for the old Indianapolis post office (now the Birch Bayh Federal Building and Courthouse) in 1936, and the Waiting Of The Mail mural in the Nappanee, Indiana, post office in 1938.

During World War II, Christian served in the U.S. Army with the Film Strip Preparation Unit. In 1944, he won the premium prize for his “Clock of Tomorrow” design in a national competition sponsored by the Seth Thomas Clock Company. Following the war, he held commercial art positions in several advertising firms, retiring from the advertising business in 1981.

Christian continued his design work and painting in retirement, winning first place for his design of the Indiana State Fair entrance in 1969 and receiving prizes and purchase awards in three consecutive Hoosier Salon exhibitions for his canvases This Too Shall Pass (1987), Golden Glimpse (1988), and Blessed Sunset (1989). Nationally, Christian’s exhibition venues included the Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C., the Grand Central Galleries, and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City.

Revised July 2021
Visual Arts

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