Did You Know? 1998.

Grant Wood’s American Gothic. The wood-frame house featured in American Gothic, the artist’s best-known work, still stands in Eldon, Iowa. For the painting, Wood’s sister Nan posed as the woman, and the local dentist as her father. They are wearing period dress of the 1890s. American Gothic gained national attention when it won a major award in Chicago in 1930.

It’s a special honor when the USPS releases a commemorative postage stamp celebrating your life. Over the years, there have been only a handful of good folks with strong Iowa connections who have shared in that honor.

In 1998 – Iowa’s best-known artist – Grant Wood.

Once a high school art teacher at McKinley in Cedar Rapids, Grant Wood is recognized as one of the most important representatives of the artistic style of regionalism, which flourished in America in the 1930s. The majority of Wood’s paintings focused on the people and rural countryside typically seen in the Midwest. Wood studied at the Académie Julian in Paris, returning to his hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1923. There his first major patron, a mortician, provided him with working and living space.


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