Grant Wood

born Anamosa, IA 1891-died Iowa City, IA 1942
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Grant Wood, © Peter A. Juley & Son Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum J0002305
Also known as
  • Grant DeVolson Wood
Anamosa, Iowa, United States
Iowa City, Iowa, United States
Active in
  • Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States
  • American

Painter. A practitioner of American scene painting, Wood painted views of the Midwest in a realistic style mixed with satire. His most famous work, American Gothic, is an American icon.

Joan Stahl American Artists in Photographic Portraits from the Peter A. Juley & Son Collection (Washington, D.C. and Mineola, New York: National Museum of American Art and Dover Publications, Inc., 1995)

Artist Biography

Grant Wood studied art sporadically at the Minneapolis Handicraft Guild, Iowa State University, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Académie Julian in Paris. Numerous exhibitions in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, helped Wood establish himself as an important regional artist; by 1935 he was teaching and lecturing across the United States. Wood was a leading exponent of American Scene painting, depicting views of the Midwest, particularly his native Iowa, that conveyed a reverence for the rural community and praise for the hard-working farmer. His most famous work, American Gothic (1930), is an American icon.

National Museum of American Art (CD-ROM) (New York and Washington D.C.: MacMillan Digital in cooperation with the National Museum of American Art, 1996)


An image of a woman and a man with a house behind them. The man is holding a rake.
Grant Wood’s Studio: Birthplace of American Gothic”
March 10, 2006July 15, 2006
"Grant Wood's Studio: Birthplace of 'American Gothic'" presents his decorative art and design work within the larger context of his paintings, drawings and prints for the first time. 'American Gothic'—one of the most recognizable American paintings—is featured in the exhibition through June 11. The Art Institute of Chicago, which owns 'American Gothic,' rarely lends the painting, so this is an exceptional chance to see the painting in the nation's capital.
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Graphic Masters II: Highlights from the Smithsonian American Art Museum
June 18, 2009January 10, 2010
Graphic Masters II: Highlights from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the second in a series of special installations, celebrates the extraordinary variety and accomplishment of American artists' works on paper. These exceptional watercolors, pastels, and drawings from the 1920s to the 1960s reveal the central importance of works on paper for American artists, both as studies for creations in other media and as finished works of art. Rarely seen works from the museum's permanent collection by artists such as Stuart Davis, Sam Francis, Edward Hopper, Willem de Kooning, Joseph Stella, Grant Wood, and Andrew Wyeth will be featured in the exhibition. Joann Moser, senior curator for graphic arts, selected the artworks in Graphic Masters.