|Birth name||Grant DeVolson Wood|
February 13, 1891|
|Died||February 12, 1942
Iowa City, Iowa
|Training||School of the Art Institute of Chicago|
|Influenced by||Jan van Eyck|
Grant DeVolson Wood (February 13, 1891 – February 12, 1942) was an American painter born four miles east of 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.[not in citation given]
Life and career 
Wood was an active painter from an extremely young age until his death, and although he is best known for his paintings, he worked in a large number of media, including lithography, ink, charcoal, ceramics, metal, wood and found objects. [[Image:Iowa quarter, reverse side, 2004.jpg|thumb|left|160px|2004 Iowa state quarter honoring Grant Wood. Elements depicted include: the making of the stained glass windows he had designed for a Veterans Memorial Building in Cedar Rapids. The window was damaged during the 2008 flood and it is currently in the process of restoration. He again returned to Cedar Rapids to teach Junior High students after serving in the army as a camouflage painter.
Wood is associated with the American movement of Regionalism that was primarily situated in the Midwest, and advanced figurative painting of rural American themes in an aggressive rejection of European abstraction.
Wood was one of three artists most associated with the movement. The others, John Steuart Curry and Thomas Hart Benton, returned to the Midwest in the 1930s due to Wood's encouragement and assistance with locating teaching positions for them at colleges in the states of Wisconsin and Kansas, respectively. Along with Benton, Curry, and other Regionalist artists, Wood's work was marketed through Associated American Artists in New York for many years. Wood is considered the patron artist of Cedar Rapids, and his childhood country school is depicted on the 2004 Iowa State Quarter.
American Gothic 
[[File:Grant Wood - American Gothic - Google Art Project.jpg|thumb|Grant Wood, American Gothic (1930), Art Institute of Chicago]] Wood's best known work is his 1930 painting American Gothic, which is also one of the most famous paintings in American art, and one of the few images to reach the status of universally recognised cultural icon, comparable to Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa and Edvard Munch's The Scream.
It was first exhibited in 1930 at the Art Institute of Chicago, where it is still located. It was given a $300 prize and made news stories country-wide, bringing Wood immediate recognition. Since then, it has been borrowed and satirised endlessly for advertisements and cartoons.
Art critics who had favorable opinions about the painting, such as Gertrude Stein and Christopher Morley, assumed the painting was meant to be a satire of repression and narrow-mindedness of rural small-town life. It was seen as part of the trend toward increasingly critical depictions of rural America, along the lines of Sherwood Anderson's 1919 Winesburg, Ohio, Sinclair Lewis' 1920 Main Street, and Carl Van Vechten's The Tattooed Countess in literature. Wood rejected this reading of it. With the onset of the Great Depression, it came to be seen as a depiction of steadfast American pioneer spirit. Another reading is that it is an ambiguous fusion of reverence and parody.
Wood's inspiration came from Eldon, southern Iowa, where a cottage designed in the Gothic Revival style with an upper window in the shape of a medieval pointed arch, provided the background and also the painting's title. Wood decided to paint the house along with "the kind of people I fancied should live in that house." The painting shows a farmer standing beside his spinster daughter, figures modeled by the artist's dentist and sister, Nan (1900–1990). Wood's sister insisted that the painting depicts the farmer's daughter and not wife, disliking suggestions it was the farmer's wife, since that would mean that she looks older than Wood's sister preferred to think of herself. The dentist, Dr. Byron McKeeby (1867–1950) was from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The woman is dressed in a colonial print apron mimicking 19th century Americana and the couple are in the traditional roles of men and women, the man's pitchfork symbolizing hard labor.
The compositional severity and detailed technique derive from Northern Renaissance paintings, which Grant had looked at during three visits to Europe; after this he became increasingly aware of the Midwest's own legacy, which also informs the work. It is a key image of Regionalism.
Works by Wood 
- Adolescence (1933)
- American Gothic (1930)
- Appraisal (1931)
- Arbor Day (1932)
- Arnold Comes of Age (1930)
- The Birthplace of Herbert Hoover, West Branch, Iowa (1931)
- Boy Milking Cow (1932)
- Daughters of Revolution (1932)
- Death on Ridge Road (1935)
- Dinner for Threshers (1934)
- Fall Plowing (1931)
- Haying (1939)
- Iowa Cornfield (1941)
- January (1940)
- The Little Chapel Chancelade (1926)
- The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere (1931)
- Near Sundown (1933)
- New Road (1939)
- Parson Weems' Fable (1939)
- Plaid Sweater (1931)
- Portrait of Nan (1933)
- Return from Bohemia (1935)
- Seedtime and Harvest (1937)
- Self-Portrait (1932)
- Spotted Man (1924)
- Stone City, Iowa (1930)
- Sultry Night (1937)
- Woman with Plants (1929)
- Young Corn (1931)
- Wood, Grant. "Art in the Daily Life of the Child." Rural America, March 1940, 7–9.
- ———. Revolt against the City. Iowa City: Clio Press, 1935.
Secondary literature 
- Corn, Wanda M. Grant Wood: The Regionalist Vision. New Haven: Minneapolis Institute of Arts and Yale University Press, 1983.
- Crowe, David. "Illustration as Interpretation: Grant Wood's 'New Deal' Reading of Sinclair Lewis's Main Street." In Sinclair Lewis at 100: Papers Presented at a Centennial Conference, edited by Michael Connaughton, 95–111. St. Cloud, MN: St. Cloud State University, 1985.
- Czestochowski, Joseph S. John Steuart Curry and Grant Wood: A Portrait of Rural America. Columbia: University of Missouri Press and Cedar Rapids Art Association, 1981.
- DeLong, Lea Rosson. Grant Wood's Main Street: Art, Literature and the American Midwest. Ames: Exhibition catalog from the Brunnier Art Museum at Iowa State University, 2004.
- ———. When Tillage Begins, Other Arts Follow: Grant Wood and Christian Petersen Murals. Ames: Exhibition catalog from the Brunnier Art Museum at Iowa State University, 2006.
- Dennis, James M. Grant Wood: A Study in American Art and Culture. New York: Viking Press, 1975.
- ———. Renegade Regionalists: The Modern Independence of Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, and John Steuart Curry. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1998.
- Evans, R. Tripp. Grant Wood [A Life]. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2010 OCLC 503041934.
- Graham, Nan Wood, John Zug, and Julie Jensen McDonald. My Brother, Grant Wood. Iowa City: State Historical Society of Iowa, 1993.
- Green, Edwin B. A Grant Wood Sampler, January Issue of the Palimpsest. Iowa City: State Historical Society of Iowa, 1972.
- Haven, Janet. "Going Back to Iowa: The World of Grant Wood", MA project in conjunction with the Museum for American Studies of the American Studies Program at the University of Virginia, 1998; includes list of paintings and gallery.
- Hoving, Thomas. American Gothic: The Biography of Grant Wood's American Masterpiece. New York: Chamberlain Brothers, 2005.
- Milosch, Jane C., ed. Grant Wood’s Studio: Birthplace of American Gothic. Cedar Rapids and New York: Cedar Rapids Museum of Art and Prestel, 2005.
- Seery, John E. "Grant Wood's Political Gothic." Theory & Event 2, no. 1 (1998).
- Taylor, Sue. "Grant Wood's Family Album." American Art 19, no. 2 (2005): 48–67.
- "Wood, Grant", The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. 2011
- "Grant Wood", answers.com[unreliable source?]
- http://www.gazetteonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?Date=20090118&Category=NEWS&ArtNo=701189924&Template=printart[dead link]
- "Grant Wood", Art Institute of Chicago. Retrieved December 14, 2008.
- Kendall, Sue M., "Wood, Grant", Oxford Art Online (subscription). Retrieved 14 December 2008.
- Fineman, Mia, The Most Famous Farm Couple in the World: Why American Gothic still fascinates., Slate, 8 June 2005
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Grant Wood|
- Grant Wood Archive, Figge Art Museum
- Grant Wood scrapbooks, Iowa Digital Library
- Cedar Rapids Museum of Art biography of Grant Wood
- Grant Wood on artcyclopedia.com
- Grant Wood and Frank Lloyd Wright Compared
- American Classic: Grant Wood and the meaning of his art
- Grant Wood's Studio
- Ten Dreams Galleries
- Ely's Web Site (The Stone City Web Site)
- Grant Wood Gallery at MuseumSyndicate
- The Sioux City Corn Room mural, Sioux City Art Center
- Grant Wood Papers Online at the Smithsonian Archives of American Art