March 10, 2006 — July 15, 2006
"Grant Wood's Studio: Birthplace of 'American Gothic'" will, for the first time, present his decorative art and design work within the larger context of his paintings, drawings and prints. '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.
The exhibition coincides with the renovation of the artist's historic studio in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, known as "5 Turner Alley," where he lived and worked from 1924 to 1935. Wood converted the loft of this turn-of-the-century carriage house into a showcase for his decorative arts work and a backdrop for some of his most famous paintings. The exhibition features works from the collection of the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, studio artifacts and heirlooms that served as props, as well as significant loans from other museums and private collections that rarely travel. Together these works help to re-create Wood's studio and demonstrate the importance of craft in the development of the artist's work. The showing at the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Renwick Gallery is the only presentation besides the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art. Jane Milosch, curator at the Renwick Gallery, is the curator of the exhibition. "Grant Wood's Studio: Birthplace of 'American Gothic'" is presented under the Honorary Patronage of Congressman Jim Leach and Deba Leach.
"Grant Wood's Studio: Birthplace of 'American Gothic'" was organized by the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art with major support from the Archer Daniels Midland Company, the Henry Luce Foundation, and Hometown Perry, Iowa. The presentation at the Renwick Gallery is made possible by Archer Daniels Midland Company with additional support from the Friends of Grant Wood and the James Renwick Alliance.
"Grant Wood's Studio: Birthplace of 'American Gothic,'" published by Prestel, contains essays by Jane Milosch; Wanda M. Corn, Robert and Ruth Halperin Professor in art history at Stanford University; James M. Dennis, professor emeritus of art history at the University of Wisconsin, Madison; and Joni Kinsey, associate professor of art history at the University of Iowa, Iowa City. It retails for $40 and will be available at the Renwick Gallery store ($32 for museum members).