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Grant Wood [chat]
JacobkoshGamble a stamp.I can show you how to be a real man!Moderatormod
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.
His family moved to Cedar Rapids after his father died in 1901. Soon thereafter he began as an apprentice in a local metal shop. After graduating from Washington High School, Wood enrolled in an art school in Minneapolis in 1910, and returned a year later to teach in a one-room schoolhouse. In 1913 he enrolled at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and did some work as a silversmith.
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 the fifteenth-century Flemish artist 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 from 1934 to 1941. 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. A closeted homosexual, he was fired because of a relationship with his personal secretary. On February 12, 1942, one day before his 51st birthday, Wood died at the university hospital of liver cancer.
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.