Grant Christian was born in Edinburgh, Indiana and attended the John Herron Art Institute in Indianapolis and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. While in art school, Christian entered numerous art competitions which were offered through the government’s New Deal program and was selected as a mural artist for the old Indianapolis post office and the Nappanee, Indiana post office. Christian spent most of his career as a commercial illustrator and held art directorships and executive positions in several advertising firms.
In 1936, Christian was the recipient of the Hoosier Salon’s Thomas Meek Butler Prize for his landscape, The Edge of Town. The painting was highly praised in the local newspaper as an example of how a railroad track and an unsightly dump can be transformed into a “thing of beauty by means of sunlight and radiant atmosphere – and by an artist’s poetic touch.”
The Edge of Town: Painting the Indiana Scene, 1932-1948, Indianapolis: Indianapolis Art League, 1989. A copy of this catalog can be found in the artist’s file in the IMA’s Stout Library.