Grant Wood – Biography and Artwork of the American Painter

Grant Wood Self Portrait

Grant Wood was an American painter and printmaker associated with the American Regionalism art movement of the 1930s. He gained prominence in the 1930s due to his painting, “American Gothic”, which featured a Midwestern farm couple, and became an iconic representation of Americana. Though largely forgotten after his death in 1942, he has been recently re-evaluated as a major figure in twentieth century art.

Born February 13th 1891, Wood was raised on a farm near Anamosa, Iowa. He went on to study at the University of Iowa’s School of Art where he received his Bachelor’s degree in 1913 and Master’s degree in 1915. It was during this time that he was exposed to more traditional styles of European art like Impressionism and Post-Impressionism which shaped much of his early work as an artist for many years before developing what would become known as American Regionalism through depictions inspired by rural life painted with unsurpassed detail and luminous color.

Wood often found himself influenced by Queen Anne, Dutch Renaissance Revival architecture from 1750-1880’s that cab be seen today throughout Anamosa County. He pushed aside the overextravagent styles that were popular at the time from past decades for more simplistic elements like gabled roofs – adding character to paint scenes without disrupting their focus or narrative structure. Together these building elements brought about some of Wood’s most iconic works including “American Gothic”

What Is Grant Wood Known For?

Grant Wood was known for his Regionalist paintings, particularly the famous American Gothic, which he painted in 1930. He was hailed as one of America’s foremost Regionalist painters in the 1930s and his works depicted rural life in the American Midwest. Wood’s paintings blended realism and idealism and he sought to capture the essence of the rural Midwest with a clarity and precision in manner that had not been done before.

Wood successfully combined modern techniques with a sense of tradition to capture the American Midwest. His artworks showcase the values of hard work, community, and austerity, while depicting organic lines and forms found in nature. His masterpiece ‘American Gothic’ is considered one of the most iconic images of 20th century art due to its dichotomy between rural life, traditional values, and modernity.

Not only has Wood been celebrated for his artistic talent throughout the years, but he has also left behind a legacy that allows us to view our rural roots through this unique combination of realism and idealism — a reflection of America during its transformation from an agricultural nation into an industrialized economy. In doing so, Grant Wood has become apart of what we recognize as modern America today.

Who Was Grant Wood Influenced By?

During his travels abroad, Grant Wood was heavily influenced by early German and Dutch paintings. His study abroad allowed him to be influenced by early European masterpieces while also creating his own style based on his topics close to home- which helped to shape a distinctly American spin to a traditional canon of European art movements.

What Art Movement Is Grant Wood Associated With?

Grant Wood was associated with and a major contributor to the Regionalism art movement during its height from 1930-1935.

List Of Grant Wood Artwork

American Gothic (1930)

New Road (1920)

Haying (1929)

All Grant Wood Artwork on Artchive

Artwork Name Year Medium
American Gothic 1930 Oil on board
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