See D. Garwood, Artist in Iowa (1944, repr. 1971).
(born Feb. 13, 1891, near Anamosa, Iowa, U.S.—died Feb. 12, 1942, Iowa City, Iowa) U.S. painter. He was trained as a craftsman and designer as well as a painter. On a visit to Germany in 1928, he was strongly influenced by the sharp detail of 15th-century German and Flemish paintings, and he soon abandoned his Impressionist manner for the detailed, realistic manner for which he is known. His American Gothic caused a sensation when exhibited in 1930. A telling portrait of the sober, hardworking Midwestern farmer, it has become one of the best-known icons of U.S. art, though it is often misinterpreted: the woman is not the man's wife but rather the unmarried daughter designated to stay on the farm to assist her widowed father.
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Grant DeVolson Wood (February 13, 1891 – February 12, 1942) was an American painter, born in Anamosa, Iowa. He is best known for his paintings depicting the rural American Midwest, particularly the painting American Gothic, an iconic image of the 20th century.
From 1920 to 1928 he made four trips to Europe, where he studied many styles of painting, especially impressionism and post-impressionism. But it was the work of Jan Van Eyck that influenced him to take on the clarity of this new technique and to incorporate it in his new works. From 1924 to 1935 Wood lived in the loft of a carriage house that he turned into his personal studio at "5 Turner Alley" (the studio had no address until Wood made one up himself). In 1932, Wood helped found the Stone City Art Colony near his hometown to help artists get through the Great Depression. He became a great proponent of regionalism in the arts, lecturing throughout the country on the topic.
Wood taught painting at the University of Iowa's School of Art beginning in 1934. During that time, he supervised mural painting projects, mentored students, produced a variety of his own works, and became a key part of the University's cultural community. On February 12, 1942, one day before his 51st birthday, Wood died at the university hospital.
When Wood died, his estate went to his sister, Nan Wood Graham, the woman portrayed in American Gothic. When she died in 1990, her estate, along with Wood's personal effects and various works of art, became the property of the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa.
Throughout his life he hired out his talents to many Iowa-based businesses as a steady source of income. This included painting advertisements, sketching rooms of a mortuary house for promotional flyers and, in one case, designing the corn-themed decor (including chandelier) for the dining room of a hotel. In addition, his 1928 trip to Munich was to oversee the making of the stained-glass windows he had designed for a Veterans Memorial Building in Cedar Rapids.
Wood's best known work is his 1930 painting American Gothic, one of the most familiar images in 20th century American art. The painting was first exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago where it can still be found today. Today, the painting is often parodied in pop culture, and remains one of the most notable examples of American Regionalism. Wood is considered the patron artist of Cedar Rapids, and one of his designs is depicted on the 2004 Iowa State Quarter
Grant Wood studio to undergo facelift; Fundraiser: The goal is to restore the structure to its original condition
Nov 11, 2001; CEDAR RAPIDS (AP) - The studio where artist Grant Wood once worked will be getting a new coat of paint. The Cedar Rapids Museum...