Adam Grant: Art for Life / 2016

Adam Grant, Art for Life_postcard

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A solo exhibit of major paintings by the late Adam Grant (1924 – 1992)

Born in Warsaw, Adam (Grochowski) Grant endured lengthy imprisonment in Auschwitz and Mauthausen, using his art to both survive and defy his captors. Post-war, in the U.S. as a naturalized citizen, Adam continued in art, through his commercial career and critically acclaimed fine art paintings.  Recognized by the Polish government as a national hero in the arts, this late Toledoan’s life and work are a vivid testament to the power of art.

Click here to download the Adam Grant: Art for Life exhibition catalogue, containing artist info and art images of the full exhibit.

Click here to download the catalogue from the 2004 international exhibit,
Adam Grant: Figure Master

Adam Grant

Detail of “Artist and Model (Self Portrait),” oil on canvas by Adam Grant, 1980

Warsaw, Poland – Toledo, Ohio

Artist Biography

Adam (Grochowski) Grant: Born in Warsaw in 1924, a young Adam Grochowski was discouraged by his family from pursuing a professional art career and told that art would “never earn the price of your bread.” In his teens, Adam was sent to the Nazi concentration camps Auschwitz and Mauthausen, where he literally traded his art for bread, enabling him to survive. In addition to grueling physical labor, the Nazi officers assigned him to create paintings for the camps. Unbeknownst to them, Adam also used his art to defy his captors, by preserving in hidden artwork the identities of fellow prisoners.

After the liberation, Adam spent five years in a refugee camp, again using his art to provide hope and employment for the future. Adam emigrated to the United States in 1950, securing a job with the Palmer Paint Company in Detroit, Michigan, that had begun to produce the now-legendary Paint By Number kits. There, Adam met fellow designer and future wife, Margaret “Peggy” Brennan. The couple married shortly before the business was sold to the Toledo-owned Craft Master company. Americanizing his name, the new Mr. and Mrs. Grant moved to Toledo, Ohio, where Peggy managed his fine art career and Adam painted until his death in 1992.

"The Phrenologist" oil on canvas by Adam Grant, 1988
“The Phrenologist” oil on canvas by Adam Grant, 1988

During his lifetime, Adam Grant’s fine art paintings were widely exhibited in galleries, as well as juried and solo exhibitions throughout the world, frequently garnering prestigious awards, including the American Painters in Paris Exhibit;  Columbus Museum of Art’s Best of Show, numerous top honors in the Toledo Area Artists Exhibition and the Toledo Museum of Art Roulet Medal. He was the featured painter in the January 1973 edition of American Artist. In recent years, Peggy, the executrix of his artistic estate, has organized and facilitated exhibits of his work in Ohio, Indiana, Poland and Saudi Arabia.

"Rondo" oil on canvas by Adam Grant, ca. 1975
“Rondo” oil on canvas by Adam Grant, ca. 1975

His work is part of many prestigious private, corporate and public collections, including The Collegium Maius Museum-Krakow, Poland; Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio; Midwest Museum of American Art, Elkhart, Indiana; Bowling Green State University, Ohio; Monroe Community College, Michigan; The University of Toledo; Toledo Federation of Art Societies; the Polish Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; and Auschwitz Museum, Poland.  In 2011, Grant’s work was accepted as a part of the permanent collection at the inauguration of the Polish History Museum in Warsaw, forming the symbolic return of Adam Grochowski-Grant to his native city. In 2018, Grant’s artist proof for the Paint By Number design The Last Supper (after DaVinci) was accepted into the permanent collection of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Art—fitting tribute to a man who literally lived for art.

20 North Gallery proudly serves as Grants’ estate representative; selected paintings by Adam Grant remain in rotating exhibition throughout the year.

Installation Images

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