Wood was born into a Quakerfamily. He studied at the Minneapolis School of Design and Handicraft and then worked some time as a silversmith. In addition he attended drawing classes at the Art Institute of Chicago. During the first world war a few years he camouflaged military vehicles. In 1920 he went to Paris from 1923 to 1924 he studied at theAcadémie Julian. He was impressed by the Impressionism, but also of the Flemish primitives, Jan van Eyckin particular, which he studied in Bruges .
Wood returned to America at the end of 1924 and founded Cedar Rapids to the ' Little Gallery ' on, now a museum. In 1928, he traveled to Munich and studied Albrecht Dürer, Hans Holbein the elder and Hans Holbein the younger. In that period he also met the style of the new objectivity. He disturbed at the lack of recognition of American artists in America and advocated the development of a private American art. In 1932 he founded the ' Stone City Art Colony ' on to artists to support during the great depression . From 1934 to 1941 he taught painting at the University of Iowa.
Wood was best known for his work from the thirties, painted in a strictly veristische style, strongly influenced by the German renaissance and the new objectivity. With his landscapes and portraits of farmers and ordinary people he belongs to the most important representatives of American realism and regionalism, along with Edward Hopper and Thomas Hart Benton. His most famous work is undoubtedly American Gothic.Wood, by dismissing the complex modernism of Europe affected the East Coast and defended the robust rural values of the middle of America. His work is characterised by a certain sentimentality and a kind of decorative mannerisms, which he at the end of his life often got much criticism.
Wood died a day before his 51st birthday to liver cancer. Work of Wood can be seen in many major American museums, including the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Iowa Cornfield, 1941
Parson Weems ' Fable
The birthplace of Herbert Hoover, 1931
The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, 1931
Sentimental Ballad, 1940
Near sundown, 1933
- Karl Ruhrberg e.a.: art of the 20th century. Taschen, Cologne, 2005. 978-3-8228-4132-7
- Stephen Farthing: 1001 Paintings you must see. ^ Obituary, 2012. ISBN 978-90-8998-209-4
- Deba Foxley Leach: Grant Wood: The artist in the hayloft. Prestel, 2005, ISBN 3-7913-3401-8.
- Kate F. Jennings: Grant Wood. JG Press, 2003, ISBN 1-57215-357-1.
- James m. Dennis: Renegade Regionalists: The Modern Independence of Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, and John Steuart Curry. University of Wisconsin Press, London 1998, ISBN 0-299-15584-6.