Grant Wood Paintings


Grant Wood was part of the Regionalist movement which strove to steer away from the European style of art and subjects and focused on local American rural subject matter such as austerity, community, and hard work.


His passion for art grew at the Cedar Rapids school, and he started entering contests in 1905. After winning the third position in a national contest, he decided that he would become a professional artist.

early training

After completing school, Wood attended a summer program that was taught by Ernest A. Batchelder, a notable exponent of the Arts and Crafts movement, and he also studied life drawing under Charles Cumming.

early training

After the war, he went on to teach art at a Middle School, emphasizing cooperation and the link between artistic work and community. In 1925, Wood quit teaching to devote his complete attention to his painting.

early training

Wood’s themes were based on regional tropes – farmland owners, chatty old women, small-town financiers, masons, and so on – but he portrayed them with fondness and humor, instead of the hatred prevalent in the literature of the time.

early training

Despite his commitment to regional subjects, a trip to Germany influenced Wood’s mature approach.

mature period

Wood’s status quickly rose from that of a regional jack-of-all-trades to that of a nationwide established Regionalist artist. In 1930, American Gothic (1930) was awarded a medal in the Art Institute of Chicago’s yearly event.

late period and death

Wood’s output had just begun to return to normal when he was confirmed to have pancreatic cancer in October of 1941. The artist passed away a few months later, in February 1942.


Wood is still regarded as one of the most beloved and divisive American Regionalist artists. American Gothic (1930), possibly the most recognizable piece of contemporary American art, as well as the most imitated, is also outstanding.