Grant Wood was a well-known painter and printmaker during the late 1930's into the early 1940's. He was most known for his images and paintings of the rural Midwest. Wood assisted with Thomas Hart Benton and John Steuart Curry, and founded and led the regionalism movement that was popular with American Art during the 1930's. Born in Anamosa, Iowa, Wood's works of art were basically of people and the landscape of Iowa. He lived and taught in Iowa most of his life. He believed that artists should stay in their home communities and paint from personal experience based on their local and national heritage.
Wood created many paintings portraying images of the Midwest, but his most popular and known painting is American Gothic. Along with a popular painting of Wood's, American Gothic is one of the most famous paintings in American art. The painting was completed in 1930.
It portrays a farmer and his daughter standing in front of their Gothic style farmhouse. The people in the painting are plain people. The woman has on an apron, and the man is dressed in overalls with a pitchfork in hand. The scene is painted in a detailed style that reflects Iowa life back then. Wood painted American Gothic as a tribute to his homeland. The painting is intended to honor the Midwest for its strong religious beliefs, symbolize the common Gothic farmhouse, and the work ethics they had. When first exhibited, the painting caused some controversy. Some people thought the picture was mocking common rural
people. His actual intent was to capture and show the hard work and determination that he saw in his family, and other families where he lived.
I think Wood's work can mean different things to different people, and bring out mixed emotions for...