Grant Wright Christian
Monhegan Island, ME
- Marion County
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Grant Christian was born in Edinburg, Indiana on July 17, 1911 and eventually became a husband to Clara M. Schneider Christian and a father to Susan Ann Christian and Anthony B. Christian. He was not only a well-known artist, but also a prominent Indianapolis advertising executive. He studied at the John Herron Art Institute for six years, graduating in 1933. He also attended the Pennsylvania Academy for Fine Arts for one year. His most prominent teachers throughout his career included: William Forsythe, Clifton Wheeler, Frank Schoonover, and more. During the Great Depression, he entered many artistic competitions offered by the Works Progress Administration such as the Louisville Marine Hospital Mural Competition and the Lafayette Post Office Competition. Like William Kaeser, he participated in painting commissioned post office murals as a part of the New Deal. His mural Waiting for the Mail can be seen at the Nappanee post office.
Prior to his time as a World War II veteran, Christian taught oil painting, watercolor, and composition at Indiana University from 1936-1937. In 1937, he joined the Art Department at Keeling & Company Advertising Agency where he went on to work for 37 years. During that time, he notably designed an eight year billboard series for Meridian Mutual Insurance. Later in 1951, he was elected vice president of the firm and a member of the board of directors. After the firm’s merger in 1959, he began to serve also as the art director. After the office closed, he opened a free-lance studio called the Christian Studio. In 1972, he joined the Mathewson Group ad agency, where he later became vice president and art director also. As winner of many competitions and monetary awards for his paintings, Christian exhibited at annual Hoosier Salon shows, the Indiana Arts Club, the Indiana State Fair, Indiana Heritage Arts, the Swope Gallery of Terre Haute, the Grand Central Gallery in New York, and the Cororan Gallery in Washington D.C.
Indianapolis Star May 24, 1989; Indianapolis Times Nov. 18, 1946; IMA Library Artist Files