Grant Wood, an American painter, was born on February 13! Best known for his smoothly rendered paintings of the American Midwest, he was a leading figure of the Regionalist movement. To honor his memory, let’s remember his best-known paintings. We also want to share the most interesting facts about the artist.
Fact 1: Grant Wood was born on February 13, 1891, in Anamosa, Jones County, Iowa, United States. However, he lost his father in 1901 when he was still quite young. As a result, his mother moved him along with his sister to Cedar.
Fact 2: Wood realized his passion for art, while he was studying in Grammar school. This predetermined his fate. He later attended night classes at the Art Institute and in 1923 he entered the Académie Julian.
Fact 3: During World War I, Grant Wood served in Washington, D.C., where he made clay models of field gun positions and helped camouflage artillery pieces.
Fact 4: The artist moved to Europe in 1923. He spent most of the next 14 months in Paris, where he was creating his paintings in an impressionistic manner. On his return to America, he spent the summer of 1925 painting pictures of workers at dairy equipment and manufacturing plant in Cedar Rapids. Around this period, his paintings began to sell, and he was able to give up teaching.
Fact 5: Wood learned the technique of stained glass in Munich. There he admired the work of the 15th-century French and German primitive painters and began to work in a linear, primitivizing style.
Fact 6: In 1930, he painted his iconic work American Gothic, that has become one of the most recognizable paintings of the 20th century.
Fact 7: Wood had a special distaste for the conservatively patriotic organization, Daughters of the American Revolution, which he satirized in his Daughters of Revolution (1932). Here he posed a group of proud, self-righteous, elderly ladies, obviously insular in their experiences and philosophies, gingerly holding their teacups, before the familiar Emanuel Leutze painting, Washington Crossing the Delaware.
Fact 8: In 1932, Wood used his newly won fame to co-found the Stone City Colony and Art School, where he could spread the message of Regionalism to aspiring artists. He established an enduring legacy that would influence later generations of American artists, including Norman Rockwell.
Fact 9: In 1935, Grant Wood tied the knot with Sara Maxon even though he is believed to have been homosexual. It is also believed that he was fired from his teaching job at the University of Lower following this controversy.
Fact 10: Wood died of pancreatic cancer in Iowa City on February 12, 1942.