Grant Wood - Spring Brook Elementary School

Self-portrait, 1932
Grant Wood – As a child
• Born on February 13, 1891 in Iowa
• Died in 1942
• Grew up on a farm in Anamosa, Iowa
• Went to school in one room school house
• Liked to draw but had no money for art supplies
- He used bits of charcoal and cardboard
• In 1916, he went to study at the Art Institute of Chicago
Grant Wood – As an adult
• During World War I (1914-1918), he painted
camouflage on trucks and cannons
• In 1920, after the war, he went to France, Italy and
Germany to study art, and supervised the making of
stained glass windows
• Also studied “Gothic Art” which was
very detailed and natural. People
were shown with serious expressions and
buildings had long lines and pointed
The Little Chapel Chancelade, 1926
Back in America…
• Discovered a new style of painting
called American Regionalism
Tell a story with his art
Young Corn, 1931
Painted subjects he knew
Represent everyday, ordinary people and places
He was called the Midwestern Painter
• Worked as a high school art teacher, painted, designed
stained glass windows
• Wanted to be identified as a farmer; wore overalls all
the time
• Grant Wood designed and
built the stained glass window
at the Veterans Memorial
Building for $9,000 in 1927 –
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
• The window includes a 16 foot
"Lady of Mourning" and life
size soldiers from the
Revolutionary War through
Veterans Memorial Window, 1929
Telling a Story
Woman with Plants, 1929
Grant painted his mother as a strong
and loving frontier woman.
Farm landscape
The decorative stitching on her
dress, the cameo around her neck,
the potted plant and other details
that were important to her.
People all over Iowa were proud of
Grant’s portrait of his mother.
It was one of the first paintings
about the Midwest that seemed like
it was done by someone who really
knew and understood the people
Telling a Story
The Midnight Ride of Paul
by Henry Wadsworth
(…) A hurry of hoofs in a village
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in
the dark,
And beneath, from the pebbles, in
passing, a spark
Struck out by a steed flying fearless
and fleet;
That was all! And yet, through the
gloom and the light,
The fate of a nation was riding that
And the spark struck out by that
steed, in his flight,
Kindled the land into flame with its
heat. (…)
The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, 1931
Telling a Story
"Arbor Day," a 1932 painting by native Grant Wood, was used to design the
state quarter in the 50 State Quarters Program.
The quarter shows a one-room schoolhouse with a teacher and students
planting a tree and the words "Foundation in Education."
American Gothic, 1930
American Gothic, 1930
Grant liked the contrast of a
European window on an
American farmhouse.
His family dentist and his own
sister, Nan, were the models for
the farmer and his daughter
Won the third place prize at big
show at the Art Institute of
People all over America loved the
newspaper pictures they saw of
People felt Grant’s art was easier
to understand than the new
modern art
Grant’s paintings along during a
rough time in history known as
the Great Depression.
• A humorously
exaggerated imitation
of an artist
Things to remember
• American Regionalist Painter
– Painted to express the images in his mind
– He liked to tell a story with his art
• Gothic Art refers to:
– detailed and natural images
– People generally have serious expressions
– Buildings have long lines and pointed arches
• Parody means a humorously exaggerated imitation
of an artist
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