Grant DeVolson Wood (1891-1942) was an American painter. He was well known for his paintings, particularly American Gothic (1930) depicting the rural American Midwest. It was an iconic painting of the 20th-century in American art.
Grant DeVolson Wood was born on February 13, 1891, in Anamosa, Iowa, United States. His mother's name was Hattie Weaver Wood, and his father's name was Francis Mayville Wood. He had three siblings, and among them, he was the second child. In rural Anamosa, Iowa, he spent most of his childhood. Unexpectedly, his father died when he was only ten years old. After that, they moved to Cedar Rapids, where he worked on the farm and inspired his artistic career. His perspective was different from other artists as he used life of simple pleasures in tune and mythical memories of boyhood in his art.
In 1905, he joined the Cedar Rapids public schools, enhancing his interest in painting and drawing. At this time, he submitted his artworks and also won third place at a national competition. Also, he was considered to be a professional artist.
His training and Education:
After that, he shifted to Washington High School in 1906, where he got more opportunities to explore his artistic talent. Here, he got a life-long friend whose name was Marvin Cone. Both started working together as a volunteer at the Cedar Rapids Art Association, stage designing for local theaters, guarding galleries, and installing exhibitions. Through his work, he got many experiences, and later, he took interior decorating projects and school yearbooks. He continued this till the year 1930.
Next, he moved to Minnesota, where he wants to pursue a summer course at the Minneapolis School of Design and Handicraft. Here, he met Ernest A. Batchelder, a prominent proponent of the Arts and Crafts movement. From him, he learned many things. After this, he joined a life drawing class at the University of Iowa. Later, he moved to Chicago in 1913 to take night classes at the Art Institute and started a business but failed. Then, he took the financial responsibilities of working as a decorator and many others.
His Famous and Notable works:
The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere: It was published in 1931. This painting was inspired by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem "Paul Revere's Ride." This painting can be found at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Daughters of Revolution: This painting was made with the dimension of 50.8 cm × 101.4 cm. And it was published in 1932. This painting has gained more critics, and some critics suggested that the painting did not consist of women as it looks like men. These days, it can be seen at Cincinnati Art Museum.
Parson Weems' Fable: This painting was made in the year 1939. Further, it can be seen at Amon Carter Museum.
Sentimental Ballad: The painting of Sentimental Ballad shows a group of men singing in a bar, which was published in 1940. Presently, this painting is located at the New Britain Museum of American Art.
American Gothic: This painting was published in 1930, and it is considered one of the best collections of the Art Institute of Chicago. This painting shows a farmer standing beside his daughter, but it has got criticized by saying a man is standing beside his wife.
Grant DeVolson Wood took his last breath on February 12, 1942, in Iowa City, United States. At that time, he was at his 50 age. His epic contribution to American art was tremendous.