Published to coincide with the opening of Grant Wood's studio at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art in Iowa, this in-depth exploration of the artist's most fruitful period brings together some of his best-known paintings and rarely seen decorative art works. The modest nineteenth-century red brick carriage house in a small Midwestern city offers no indication that it once housed one of America's most revered artists, but step inside the doors of 5 Turner Alley and discover a space which exudes the essence of American utility, simplicity and inventiveness that distinguishes Wood's work. By carefully tracing the development of Wood's work, from his decorative interiors and objects designed for his studio to his most famous paintings, such as American Gothic (1930), this exquisitely produced volume provides new clues to Wood's success as a painter, craftsman and designer. Thoughtful essays examine how Wood's drawings and paintings, alongside his work in metal, wood, and interior design, together best represent the culmination of his personal experience as well as his sense of humour and taste.
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The Authors James M. Dennis is Emeritus Professor of Art History, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Wanda Corn is Professor of Art History at Stanford University. Joni Kinsey is Professor of Art History at the University of Iowa, Iowa City. Jane Milosch is curator at the Renwick Gallery of Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C. and a former curator at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art.From Booklist:
This satisfying album by a set of art historians recounts the life and appraises the work and reputation of artist Grant Wood (1891-1942). Indelibly branded as a Depression-era American regionalist in the company of John Steuart Curry and Thomas Hart Benton, Wood had a more varied background than that label would imply. In the biographical chapter, Joni Kinsey explains that Wood was influenced early by the arts-and-crafts movement, succeeded by his interest in impressionism, which he emulated on painting trips to Europe. On one 1928 journey, Wood radically changed his style. Returning to his hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Wood developed his signature look of semisurreal objectivity and produced his most significant paintings in a burst of creativity. Analyzed by Wanda Corn, who thankfully finds a proportionate place for American Gothic, the core of Wood's oeuvre is reproduced in color plates, opening to viewers the tension between satire and affection apparent in Wood's approach to his usually rural subjects. Bound to be popular with browsers. Gilbert Taylor
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