Adolph and Esther Gottlieb, New York, 1932

Adolph and Esther Gottlieb, New York, 1932

About the Foundation


The Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation has been operating since 1976 with two main purposes. We offer grants to individual visual artists through two programs: an annual Individual Support Grant and a separate program to assist visual artists in cases of catastrophic events through an Emergency Grant program. We also maintain an archive on the art and life of Adolph Gottlieb and organize exhibitions of his art and that of others.

Adolph Gottlieb began his career as an artist in New York in the 1920s, with no expectation of financial reward. He became one of the small group of artists who initiated the movement known as Abstract Expressionism, and achieved artistic and financial success far beyond his early expectations.

Over the course of his life Gottlieb had several friends and colleagues who, despite their artistic achievements, were not able to support themselves either through the sale of their art or through teaching or related work. Adolph and his wife Esther were known among their friends as people who would help out when times were hard or when someone was in serious need.

In that spirit, Adolph left instructions in his will that a foundation be created to benefit “mature, creative painters and sculptors.” When Adolph died in 1974 this paragraph became a mandate for an artists’ estate to develop a program that would provide direct financial assistance to individual artists. Esther Gottlieb, having helped to conceive this idea, saw to it that his wishes were carried out and pursued the structural development and organization of the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation.

Since 1976, the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation has been making Individual Support Grants to painters, sculptors and printmakers who have been creating mature art for at least 20 years and who are in current financial need. Grants are available through an open application process and they have been distributed to artists worldwide. The annual deadline for completed applications is December 15th.

 The Gottlieb Foundation also manages a separate Emergency Assistance program to assist mature visual artists who have suffered a recent catastrophic situation such as a fire, flood or emergency medical situation and who lack the resources to deal with their current circumstances. There are no deadlines for this program. Complete information about Emergency Grants can be obtained by following this link. These grant programs exist as part of the continuing legacy of Adolph and Esther Gottlieb and reflect their dedication to assisting individual artists.