My new favourite artist: Grant Wood

” I realized that all the really good ideas I’d ever had came to me while I was milking a cow.   So I went back to Iowa.”  ~ Grant Wood ~

Last week we visited the lovely snow-dusted Mississippi river city of Dubuque., Iowa. We decided to drop into the wonderful Dubuque Art Musem    a regional art gallery I was delighted to find had some works of this great iconic Midwest American artist.

The painting that particularly captured my  imaginations was “Appraisal”

appraisal grant wood

It is exquisitely painted, with tender, delicate detail and gently humorous symbolism.


The other painting that struck me was his eerily gothic and deftly satirical “Victorian Survival”

Victorian survival grant wood

The first time I learned of Wood was as part of our cursory study of American art in a South African school curriculum. We briefly investigated “American Gothic” as an example of Depression-era painting, with its wonderfully subtle parody and gentle realism. I was lucky enough to see the original at the stunning Art Institute of Chicago

American Gothic Grant Wood

Wood was also an amazing print maker, his lithographs are dreamy, whimsical and surreal and have his characteristic delicacy and attention to the evocative landscape of his beautiful native Iowa…his childhood country school is also depicted on the 2004 Iowa State Quarter.



Wood’s colour schemes, his sensitivity to his subject matter and the magical elements that sparkle in his work really inspire me as an artist. I would love to hear any comments others may have of their favourite American artists – I love discovering new work!

This is a good link to visit for more information on this quintessential American artist:

Grant Woods