Unidentified photographer, Grace Borgenicht working at Atelier 17, ca. 1945-50. Estate of Grace Borgenicht Brandt, Baltimore.
Grace Borgenicht Brandt, Trees, ca. 1945-50. Etching, plate: 8 x 9 ¾ in. (20.3 x 24.8 cm); sheet: 8 ¾ x 11 ½ in. (22.2 x 29.2 cm). Estate of Grace Borgenicht Brandt, Baltimore.
Grace Borgenicht Brandt, Old Home Acres, ca. 1945-50. Etching, plate: 6 7/8 x 9 ¾ in. Estate of Grace Borgenicht Brandt, Baltimore.

12. Grace Borgenicht Brandt

Life Dates1915-2001
Place of BirthNew York, NY, USA
Place of DeathNew York, NY, USA
Birth NameGrace Lubell

Grace Lubell was born in New York to a well-to-do Jewish family who lived on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.1 She attended New College, a short-lived progressive undergraduate division of Columbia University meant to prepare students for teaching careers. New College students were encouraged to study abroad, and Lubell spent part of 1934 in Paris at the studio of André Lhote. In 1938 she married Jack Borgenicht, with whom she had three daughters. Working as an artist throughout the 1940s, she focused on watercolor and had several solo shows at the Laurel Gallery (two in 1947 and one in 1950). Although her watercolors were mostly representational—depicting the environs of Scranton, Pennsylvania, where her husband had a dress-manufacturing factory—they were robust and expressively executed, often incorporating splatters and added textures such as sand or sawdust.2 Borgenicht studied at Atelier 17 sometime in the mid- to late 1940s but produced few prints. Examples include natural subjects such as a gnarly old tree that fills the plate area, or a scene of a rural barn and silo. Around the same time, Borgenicht became a co-director of Laurel with owner Chris Ritter, and her membership to Atelier 17 was likely the catalyst for the workshop’s group show there in 1949 (though she did not exhibit any of her own prints). She increasingly transitioned away from art-making toward gallery management and opened her own gallery in 1951, just after Laurel closed. Shortly after the inaugural show featuring Jimmy Ernst’s work, Grace Borgenicht Gallery held a group exhibition by Atelier 17 members, which traveled to the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Walker Art Center, and Michigan State College. Borgenicht married the painter Warren Brandt in 1960, and her gallery remained open until the 1990s.


Grace Borgenicht Gallery records, circa 1953-1996, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Selected Bibliography

A. R. “Grace Borgenicht.” Art News 49 (March 1950): 50.

“Grace Borgenicht.” Art News 46 (December 1947): 58.

“Grace Borgenicht Debut.” Art News 46 (December 1947): 58.

J. K. R. “Fresh Theme, No Variation.” Art Digest 24 (March 15, 1950): 18–19.

Smith, Roberta. “Grace Borgenicht Brandt, 86, New York Art Dealer, Dies.” New York Times, July 21, 2001.


  1. Much of the biographical information about Grace Borgenicht Brant comes from a conversation between the author and her daughter Lois Borgenicht, Christina Weyl, February 2, 2017.
  2. A. R., “Grace Borgenicht,” [Art News]{.underline} 49 (March 1950): 50. Lois Borgenicht recalled her mother had self-doubt about working in watercolors and being labeled a “lady watercolorist.” Lois Borgenicht, telephone conversation with Christina Weyl, February 2, 2017.