Biographical / Historical
Frank Kleinholz (1901-1987) was an painter and art educator in New York. Kleinholz was born in Brooklyn, New York. He received a bachelor's degree from Colby College in Maine, and in 1923, he graduated from Fordham University Law School and passed the New York State Bar examination. He then married Leah Schwartz in 1928; they had no children. Until the late 1930s, Frank Kleinholz was a lawyer in New York who, occasionally, submitted poems to newspapers for publication.
In 1939, Kleinholz was awarded a scholarship to study for one year at the American Artists School in New York, and the following summer he studied and painted in Mexico. After Mexico, his art career took off, establishing notoriety for his modernist paintings of the people and scenes in the world around him. By 1945, his work had been selected for exhibitions held by the Carnegie Institute, Phillips Memorial Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. In an unfortunate turn of events, Leah died of cancer in November of 1945. Frank then married Lidia Brestovan in 1946. They had two girls, Lisa and Anna, and one boy, Marco.
Kleinholz held one-man exhibitions at the Associated American Artists Gallery in New York, Park Gallery in Detroit, ACA Gallery in New York and Rome, and had retrospectives at Nassau Community College, Colby College, and the Lowe Art Museum at the University of Miami. He participated in group exhibitions at the Chicago Art Institute, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Brooklyn Museum. He wrote the books Frank Kleinholz: A Self Portrait in 1964 and Ile de Brehat, The Flowering Rock in 1971; and books written about him include Frank Kleinholz: The Outsider, by August L. Freundlichn in 1969, and Kleinholz Graphics: Catalogue Raisonne, 1940-1975 by Sylvan Cole, Jr. and Ralph G. Martin in 1976. In addition to those mentioned above, his work is found in the permanent collections of the Moscow Museum of Fine Art, Newark Museum, University of Oklahoma, Marquette University, Akron Art Institute, and private collectors. Although most widely known for his paintings, Kleinholz worked with lithography, etching, and prints as well.
Contemporaneous with his career as an artist, Kleinholz was an art educator and talk-show contributor. He started the "Art in New York" interview program on radio station WNYC, New York City, circa 1940s, and was an art commentator for radio station WIOD, Miami, Florida in the 1960s. Kleinholz was an instructor at Hofstra University, Uniondale, New York, and lectured on contemporary art and art history at Smith College, Brandeis University, and the Park Synagogue in Akron, Ohio.