Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation Grant: Funding for Late Career Artists

Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation: Grants for Late Career Artists
© The Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Foundation

The namesake of painter Adolph Gottlieb, a first generation Abstract Expressionist, The Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation was founded in 1976 with the intention of supporting artists who are at mature point in their practice and who also demonstrate financial need. According to their website:

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.

The Foundation defines maturity as artists who have been engaged in a studio practice for a minimum of 20 years. Moreover, the awards are specifically made available to painters and sculptors. This limited scope is a boon for potential applicants because it means your odds of winning an award far exceed similar grants with larger applicant pools.

Notable Gottlieb Foundation Grant Winners

The Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Foundation has a long history of giving grants to artists working primarily in painting sculpture. Some notable recipients include:

Unfortunately the Foundation does not maintain a full database of past grant winners on their website, but you can explore the 2018 grant winners.

How Much is a Gottlieb Foundation Grant?

Gottlieb Foundation grants are not only incredibly generous at $25,000, but in 2018 the Foundation awarded support to 12 individual artists. This totals $300,000, a truly remarkable sum.

Applications are accepted online and are relatively straightforward, but given the fact that artists must demonstrate financial need, you should be prepared to submit a financial disclosure outlining your income and expenses. In the age of big data and Facebook leaks, the thought of providing financial information to an arts organization may give some applicants pause, but this is a reputable agency with a long history of supporting artists primarily working in painting, with an emphasis on abstraction.

What is the Gottlieb Grant Application Like?

Relative to some of the other institutions, like Creative Capital and Artadia, the Gottlieb Foundation Grant application is simpler. To apply for an award, you must register a profile on the Foundation website and complete a 4 part application:

  1. Application Form
  2. Narrative Statement
  3. Images with a list of captions
  4. Financial disclosure

One exciting aspect of the Gottlieb Foundation Grant application, which clearly differentiates it from every other agency, is that artists are allowed to submit a large number of images. The minimum requirement is 25, but you can submit up to 40. If you have ever struggled to pair down your work to fit an application (who hasn’t?), or if you tend to work in large series, the Gottlieb Grant is definitely for you.

In addition to the images (and unfortunately, just like the Pollock-Krasner Grant), you will need to supply copies of your prior year tax returns, and those of your spouse as well. The Foundation uses these to determine financial need, a major factor of their award process, but approach this with caution. Make sure to take the time to redact sensitive information like your social security number prior to sending in these forms. And NEVER send your only copies!

Gottlieb Foundation Emergency Grants

In addition to individual artist grants, The Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Foundation also offer Emergency Grants to artists who have financial need which has arisen due to an unforeseen, catastrophic incident. There is no deadline for these applications. If you find yourself in a catastrophic situation, apply for a grant at any time.

Foundation on Social Media

@gottliebfoundation currently has just over 1,000 followers. Again, similar to some of the other old guard institutions, you should not expect a lot of exposure for your work across the Foundations social channels; however, the Foundation’s blog is regularly updated with in depth articles covering aspects of maintaining Adolph Gottlieb’s work, such as exhibition making and archiving. While this is not social media per se, it is a great resource if you are curious about what goes in to maintaining an archive at a high level.


  • Generous $25,000 grants
  • Submit 25 – 40 images, great for mature artists working in large series
  • Available to artists with at least 20 years of mature work behind them
  • Emergency Grants awarded on a rolling basis


  • Financial disclosure required of all applicants increases the time required to apply

Connect with the Gottlieb Foundation

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