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Grant Wood


Grant Wood, born February 13, 1891 is Iowa’s most famous artist, his iconic painting American Gothic is one of America’s most famous paintings. Wood was born on a farm outside of Anamosa, IA in 1891 but moved to Cedar Rapids at the age of Ten years old after the death of his father. From that point on Wood lived most of his life in either Cedar Rapids or Iowa City, dying of cancer the day before his 51st birthday. Regionalism in art may be in any style and defined as painting what an artist live with, in, or around. During the Great Depression, few artists could afford travel costs to study in Europe and consequently the Regionalist movement arose at the opportune time. Grant Wood became the spokesman for the Regionalist painting movement, when he famously and (somewhat outrageously) remarked that he “got all his best ideas for painting while milking a cow”. Wood eventually became a principal spokesman for Regionalism in art for two reasons: first, because his painting American Gothic achieved almost instant fame and second, in the summers of 1932 and 1933, Wood ran the successful art colony at Stone City, which received a great deal of attention from the national press. This too gave both Wood’s ideas and the concept of Regionalism a national audience and legitimacy in the art world.