Grant Wood - Mrs. Jackson`s Art Room

Grant Wood
American Artist
By Denise Jackson
Grant Wood (1891 – 1942) was born on a farm
in a small town in Iowa. He showed an
interest in art at a very early age. He often
drew pictures with brunt sticks his mother
gave him from her stove.
Grant loved living on the family farm and enjoyed
his family chores and had his own goats, chickens,
ducks and turkeys.
Unfortunately Grant Wood’s father died when he
was ten and his family moved to the nearby city of
Cedar Rapids.
The move was very hard on Grant. He missed his
farm pets and he had trouble fitting in with the other
kids in his school.
Because of his good sense of humor and his drawing
talent things eventually got better for Grant.
After Grant graduated from high school he took
art classes, taught art, made jewelry, learned
carpentry, and took care of his mother and
sister, Nan.
He loved making things and worked slowly
and carefully.
Grant was able to use his artistic skills in
WWI painted camouflage on the tanks and
Grant began painting like many
other artists of that time. He
used short brush strokes and lots
of bright colors but he wanted to
find a way or style of painting
all his own.
He became inspired by 15th
century painter’s Durer and Has
Memling. He liked how smooth
their brush strokes were and the
way they painted everyday
Grant decided to
paint the people he
knew and loved like
the way the old
masters did.
Grant thought the
people and places
he knew while
growing up in Iowa
was as beautiful as
the subjects the old
Masters painted.
Grant Wood
painted his mother
as a strong and
loving frontier
woman. He placed
her in a farm
landscape, and
paid close attention
to details.
People all over
Iowa were proud
of Grant’s portrait
of his mother. It
was the first
painting about the
Midwest that
seemed to be
painted by
someone that
understood the
people there.
Thomas Hart Benton
John Steuart Curry
Some other American artists began to paint activities in
the Midwestern regions where they lived. This art
became known as Regionalism.
Grant Wood’s paintings show the love he had for the
people and customs of the Midwestern United States.
Grant kept working on his new style of painting and
soon created his most famous picture, American
Gothic. He got his inspiration for this painting from
an old American farmhouse with a European Gothic
architecture style window. He chose his dentist and
sister, Nan, as the farmer and his daughter.
Grant wood entered
American Gothic into a
big art show in Chicago
and received third
place. He enjoyed
painting people he had
known all his life and
was surprised by all the
attention it got. Some
people thought he was
making fun of farmers
while others thought he
was honoring them.
Grant’s paintings were painted during the Great
Depression. It was a hard time in History for the U.S. The
depression caused many people to lose their jobs and
It made people feel better to look at Grant’s paintings of
beautiful farm lands and proud, hard working families who
helped make America great.
Grant Wood died in 1942. After searching
the art centers of Europe, Grant had
finally realized that the best place to
create art was right in his own backyard.
To Grant there really was no place like
Grant Wood’s landscape paintings show great depth. He places the horizon
line high on the canvas. Larger, more detailed items are located near the
bottom of the picture with smaller, less detailed items higher on the painting.
A change in color intensity as the scene moves back into space with many
things overlapped, all help to show the illusion of space.
Getting to Know the World’s Greatest
Artists: Grant Wood, by Mike Venezia
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