Albert Christ-Janer (1910-1973) was a painter, printmaker, art historian, writer, and educator active at colleges and universities across the U.S.
Albert Christ-Janer was born in Appleton, Minnesota in 1910 and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, Yale University, and Harvard University. Christ-Janer wrote about American artists Boardman Robinson and John Caleb Bingham, and taught at a variety of institutions, including Stephens College, Cranbrook Academy, Pratt Institute Art School, and the University of Georgia. He was also an artist-in-residence at Tamarind Lithography Workshop in 1972.
Christ-Janer began his teaching career at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri in 1934, and soon became head of the art department. He moved to Michigan to accept the position of head of the art department and professor of art at Michigan State University in 1942. In 1945, he began working for the Cranbrook Academy in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, serving as director of the educational program, director of the museum and library, and professor of art history.
In 1947, Christ-Janer moved to Chicago and worked at the University of Chicago and the Arts Center Association, Inc. In the 1950s, he served as director of Arts Center Development at New York University, director of the School of Arts at Pennsylvania State University, and on the Lake Erie College Board of Trustees. In 1958, he moved to New York and become dean of the School of Art and Design at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, later becoming director. He left Pratt in 1970 to accept the position of Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Art at the University of Georgia, where he remained until his tragic death in 1973.
Christ-Janer was the author of several books: Art in Child Life (University of Iowa Press, 1938), George Caleb Bingham of Missouri (Dodd, Mead and Company, 1940), Boardman Robinson (Unversity of Chicago Press, 1946), Eliel Saarinen (University of Chicago Press, 1948), and Modern Church Architecture, with Mary Mix Foley (McGraw-Hill, 1962).
Albert Christ-Janer was a Guggenheim Fellow in 1950, awarded the Rockefeller Award in 1954, and the Guggenheim Award in 1960. He was also awarded multiple grants from the American Philosophical Society and the J. M. Kaplan Fund for research and work in lithography, as well as multiple Arthur Judson grants. In 1972 Christ-Janer was the Tamarind artist-in-residence at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.
Christ-Janer traveled often. In 1962 he was a guest of the Bonn government for two months to visit museums and schools of design in Germany. And in 1964, he was a guest of the governments of Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Sweden for two months to study schools, museums, and cultural centers. In July of 1973, Christ-Janer was the official NASA artist for the Skylab III launch, and in October of 1973, he was the studio guest of the Norway-America Association and the Norwegian government in Oslo. From November to December of 1973, Christ-Janer was the scholar-in-residence at the Study and Conference Center of the Rockefeller Foundation (Centro Culturale delle Fondazione Rockefeller), at the Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio (Como), Italy.
Albert Christ-Janer was killed in an automobile accident in Bellagio (Como), Italy on December 12, 1973.