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Wood, Grant

Wood, Grant, 1891–1942, American painter, b. Anamosa, Iowa, studied Art Institute of Chicago and in Paris. He experimented with an impressionist style in Paris, but in Munich in 1928 he was decisively influenced by German and Flemish primitive painters, Memling in particular. In the 1930s, he created his American scene works, in which stern people and stylized magic-realist landscapes offer rigid, decorative images of the rural Midwest. Behind Wood's apparent folksy simplicity, however, often lie suggestions of darkness and sexuality. His American Gothic (1930, Art Inst., Chicago) and Daughters of Revolution (1932, Whitney Museum of American Art, N.Y.C.) have been reproduced many times; other works include Stone City (Joslyn Art Mus., Omaha, Nebr.), Dinner for Threshers (1934, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco), and a series of murals at Iowa State Univ. Wood was also a silversmith, printmaker, stained-glass artist (e.g., Veterans' Memorial Building, Cedar Rapids, Iowa), sculptor, ceramicist, interior designer, and stage designer. He taught (1934–41) at Iowa State and was director of WPA art projects in Iowa.

See museum catalogs by W. M. Corn (1985), J. M. Dennis et al. (1995), and B. Haskell and G. Adamson (2018); memoir by his sister, N. Wood Graham (1993); biographies by D. Garwood (1944) and R. T. Evans (2010); J. C. Milosch et al., Grant Wood's Studio (2005).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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