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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Grant Wood Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1918-2009
Creator: Wood, Grant (1891-1942)
Extent: 6.50 linear feet.
Collection Number: RG99.0033
Repository: University of Iowa Archives
Summary: Professor of Art, University of Iowa, from 1934 until his death in 1942. Regionalist painting style. Articles, exhibit brochures, correspondence, and photographs.

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Acquisition: A portion of this collection was donated to the University Archives by Edwin B. Green. Inventory prepared by Denise Anderson; updated in 2011 by Alexandra Drehman. Guide posted to the Internet March 2007 and updated June 2011.

Preferred Citation: Grant Wood Papers, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Archives
Address: 100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: David McCartney
Email: david-mccartney@uiowa.edu
Website: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/sc/archives

Grant Wood was born near Anamosa, Iowa on February 13, 1891. He lived on a farm until age ten, when his father died, after which his mother moved the family to Cedar Rapids. He studied at the Minneapolis School of Design and Handicraft, and later the Art Institute of Chicago. Wood was drafted into the Army in 1917, and was stationed at Camp Dodge near Des Moines, where he painted portraits of officers and enlisted men. He taught art in the Cedar Rapids schools from 1919 until 1925.
 
In 1920 Grant Wood studied at the Julian Academy in Paris. It was during this decade that his famous painting style began to emerge. He was in Munich in 1928 to direct the building of a stained glass window for the Cedar Rapids Memorial Coliseum, and returned to Iowa with a desire to paint in his own realistic style rather than the romantic art style of the time. Wood's unique style was immediately popular, and most of his famous Regionalist paintings were created during the 1930s. During the early 1930s, Wood established an art colony in Stone City, near Cedar Rapids. In 1934 he joined the faculty at the University of Iowa, in the Department of Graphic and Plastic Arts, as associate professor, and became full professor in 1939. He married Sara Maxon in March 1935, and they divorced in September 1939. Grant Wood died of cancer at the University Hospital in Iowa City one day before his 51st birthday, February 12, 1942.
 
[D. Anderson; 03/2007].

The Grant Wood collection includes articles and clippings about Grant Wood, as well as photographs, art museum exhibit brochures, correspondence, and book covers that use Grant Wood's art.
Folder, "Wood, Grant," in Faculty and Staff Vertical Files collection (RG01.0015.003).

Numerous articles and books have been written about Grant Wood and his artistry. These are noted in the University of Iowa Archives' online bibliography under the category Liberal Arts: Art: Grant Wood. Of particular note are the following titles:

Corn, Wanda. Grant Wood, the Regionalist Vision. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983. 168 pp., illus, notes, bibliog. Art Library; Special Collections Department, Archives cataloged books.

Czestochowski, Joseph S. John Steuart Curry and Grant Wood: A Portrait of Rural America. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1981. 224 pp., illus., bibliog. Art Library; State Historical Society of Iowa.

Dennis, James M. Grant Wood: A Study in American Art and Culture. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1986. Rev. ed. 256 pp., illus., notes. Art Library.

Graham, Nan Wood. My Brother, Grant Wood. Iowa City: State Historical Society of Iowa, 1993. 200 pp., illus. Special Collections Department, Iowa Authors collection, and Archives cataloged books.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: ARTICLES AND CLIPPINGS
Series 2: POSTERS AND MEDIA
Series 3: PHOTOGRAPHS
Series 4: ED GREEN COLLECTION
Series 5: CORRESPONDENCE AND MEMORANDA
Series 6: SALZMAN PHOTOCOPIES ABOUT WOOD
Series 7: EXHIBIT CATALOGS
Series 8: ASSOCIATED AMERICAN ARTISTS CATALOGS
Series 9: OVERSIZED

  • Series 1: ARTICLES AND CLIPPINGS
  • Box 1:
  • Articles and newspaper clippings about Grant Wood - 1932-1942
    3 folders
  • Full periodicals, February 13 - 1942-1969
    2 folders
  • Box 2:
  • Articles and newspaper clippings about Grant Wood - 1970-2009
    2 folders
  • American Gothic articles and parodies - 1942-2008
  • American Gothic house and Eldon, Iowa site
  • Nan Wood Graham
  • Articles, n.d.
  • Box 3:
  • Photocopies of articles and newspaper clippings about Grant Wood contained in previous boxes - 1932-2000
    11 folders
  • Parodies of "American Gothic" and other works - 1961
  • Nan Wood Graham - 1942
  • Series 2: POSTERS AND MEDIA
  • Box 4:
  • Inventory and Photographic material in Archives finding aid, accession records
  • Obituary Draft- Press Citizen (final version), February 13 - 1942
  • Magazine articles - 1934-1954
  • Magazine articles - 1966-1985
  • Magazine covers "American Gothic" and parodies of same
  • Cards, envelopes, magazine covers
    Grant Wood's art as theme
  • "American Gothic" parodied on greeting cards, postcards
  • "American Gothic" parodied pm greeting cards, tallies, ads
  • Book covers designed by Grant Wood
  • American Gothic print reproduction and postcard
  • American Gothic house, State Historical Society
  • Illustrations for Main Street
  • Grant Wood Art Festival, Stone City
  • Calendar, "The Year of Grant Wood," September-December - 1983-1984
    9 Lithographs, 2 copies
  • Print reproductions of various titles
  • Museum exhibition catalogs
  • Kratz, Jennifer "The Memorial Window Controversy" - 1988
  • Crary, Ryland "History of SUI: College of Liberal Arts in the Gilmore and Hancher Administrations" - 1946
  • Copies of photos and captions used in Grant Wood album for James Hayes, occupant of Grant Wood's Iowa City residence - 1980
  • Related Miscellaneous
  • Series 3: PHOTOGRAPHS
  • Box 5:
  • Finding aid "Photography of the life of Grant Wood February 13, 1891-February 12, 1942"
  • Portrait of Grant Wood by Wanger Studios of Hollywood - 1940-1949
    2 copies
  • Anamosa, Iowa farm house where Wood was born
  • Hattie Weaver Wood (1858-1935)
    Mother of Grant Wood
  • Francis M. Wood (1855-1901)
  • Grant Wood at age 10
  • Antioch school, near Anamosa - 1972
  • Wood at age 18 as an artist - 1909
  • High School graduation class
  • Mother's home, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • Hattie Weaver Wood at age 71
  • Kenwood house
  • Grant Wood as a soldier during World War I - 1918
  • Wood and Marvin Cone - 1920
  • Wood teaching ninth grade at McKinley School, Cedar Rapids, Iowa - 1924
  • Postcards from Europe - 1920
    2 copies
  • Studio door, No. 5 Turner Alley
  • Studio interior of Turner Alley
  • Gazette newspaper clipping, David Turner - 1926
  • Wood and stained glass workers in Germany - 1928
  • Wood and Daughters of Revolution - 1932
  • Wood and Midnight Ride of Paul Revere - 1931
  • Wood writing letters to prospective students of Stone City Art Colony - 1932
  • Wood, similar to previous - 1932
  • Cover of Stone City catalog
  • Stone City Art Colony class of 1932-1933
    4 photographs
  • Stone City Art Colony faculty
    2 photographs
  • Wood and students from Stone City Art Colony
  • Bar at Stone City Art Colony, the Rathskeller
  • Wood and John Stuart Curry
    3 photographs; 2 copies
  • Wood Mural at Iowa State University
  • Interior and exterior views of Iowa City residence on Court St.
    6 photographs
  • Nan Graham Wood, Wood, and Park Rinard at Iowa City home
  • Wood working on lithograph at Iowa City home
  • Arnold Blanch, Grant Wood and Doris Lee at Iowa City home
  • Grant Wood - 1938
  • Wood with Parson Weems Fable - 1938
  • Wood and Thomas Hart Benton - 1935
  • Cardboard cutout of Wood, Iowa City - 1929
  • Life and The Iowan magazine photos
  • Life and The Iowan magazine photos
  • Wood and Spring in Town series - 1941
  • Wood and subject for Spring in Town series - 1941
  • Spring in Town series - 1941
  • Wood at Santa Monica, California
  • Wood with students at former Medical Amphitheater in Iowa City
  • American Gothic
  • Fruits of Iowa. Mural by Grant Wood in the Hotel Montrose in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • Nan Wood Graham
  • Wood Graham, Dr. McKeeby and American Gothic
  • Wood Graham at wax museum in Southern California with American Gothic
  • Wood Graham and Ed. Green at Iowa City home - 1978
  • Wood Graham and unidentified individuals
  • Boarding House Bath painted by Wood Graham
  • Wood Graham with waitresses Hoover House, West Branch, Iowa - 1977
  • Wood Graham and L.G. Hoffman
  • Wood Graham at Riverside, California, home
  • Miriam Canter and Wood Graham - 1977
  • Color print for Tribune and Register by George Yates of Grant Wood
  • Series 4: ED GREEN COLLECTION
  • Box 5:
  • Nine undated photographs
  • Letter, "The Story Behind the Gothic Truck" - 1983
  • Photograph "Whidbey Furniture" use of American Gothic
  • Photograph of quilt center parody of American Gothic
  • Photograph of quilt center parody of American Gothic
    Long view
  • Ed Green Collection: Pencil sketch (photo) American Gothic
  • Ed Green Collection: "Long Voyage Home" photos
  • Sub-Series:
  • Box 5:
  • Correspondence
  • Thomas Benton, portrait
  • Walter Wanger, head shot
  • Thomas Mitchell painted by Robert Phillipp
  • John Ford sketched by Georges Schreiber
  • Raphael Soyer painting, a London saloon scene
  • James Chapin painting of seaman's death
  • Ian Hunter, painted by Robert Phillipp
  • German Attack on British Freighter, painted by Georges Schreiber
  • Thomas Hart Benton, painting of a London dock scene in wartime
  • John Wayne, painted by Ernest Fiene
  • "Bumboat Girls," painted by Luis Quintanilla
  • John Qualen, painted by George Biddle
  • Series 5: CORRESPONDENCE AND MEMORANDA
  • Box 6:
  • Stone City classes - 1933
  • Murals 1933-1934; Articles and Publications about 1974-1994
  • Lectures, Students, and Art Instruction - 1934-1939
  • Art Department Crisis, including "List of Leading Art Educators and Art Critics in the Country," document by Lester Longman - 1940
  • Return to University of Iowa, Northwestern honorary degree, grade reports, letters concerning death - 1941-1943
  • Grant Wood memorial, University of Iowa class of 1934, 1942
  • Photocopies - 1936-1942
  • Memos and publications, "Young Corn" - 1942-1961
  • Conference notes, speeches, essays, talks - 1939-1983
  • Special Collections memos, correspondence, citations - 1970-1998
  • Series 6: SALZMAN PHOTOCOPIES ABOUT WOOD
  • Sub-Series: Chronological/ biographical listing of art
  • Box 7:
  • Frontispiece
  • Boyhood
  • Paris - 1920
  • European Scenes
  • Paintings - 1916-1929
  • Paintings - 1930-1941
  • Portraits
  • Lithographs
  • Still Life
  • Drawings
  • Murals, posters, stained glass window
  • Book jackets, illustrations
  • Three Dimensional
  • Series 7: EXHIBIT CATALOGS
  • Sub-Series: Full Publications and Articles
  • Box 7:
  • McKinley Mirror - 1923
  • Stone City Art Colony
  • Demcourier, May - 1942
  • A Notable Gift - 1944
  • Grant Wood by Thomas Craven
    2 copies
  • Sub-Series: Magazine and journal articles about
  • Box 7:
  • Various dates of publication
  • Tame Flowers
  • American Gothic: A Living Legend
  • Grant Wood Country by Jean Kinney
  • Grant Wood Country Part 1 by L.G. Hoffman
  • Grant Wood Country Part 2 by Stan Wiederspan
  • This is Grant Wood Country by Joan Liffring-Zug
  • University of Iowa News Bulletin, January - 1934
  • University of Iowa News Bulletin, April - 1942
  • Coloring Book, Grant Wood Art Festival
  • Newspaper Clippings - 1932-1959
  • Newspaper Clippings - 1961-1988
  • Sub-Series: General
  • Box 7:
  • Paintings by Grant Wood - 1891-1942
  • Biographical Information
  • Ceremony introduction, October 23 - 1942
  • Photographs
  • Turner Alley photographs
  • Comic Book parody "The Freak Brothers"
    Photocopy of cover
  • Newspaper articles/ clippings
  • Salzman Correspondence, Articles, Cedar Rapids Art Center 1942 Exhibition
  • Series 8: ASSOCIATED AMERICAN ARTISTS CATALOGS
  • Box 8:
  • Catalogs - 1938-1942
  • Catalogs - 1944, 1951, 1953, 1962, 1967
  • Catalogs, n.d.
  • Brochures
  • Series 9: OVERSIZED
  • OS Box 9:
  • Articles, posters about Grant Wood

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.


Browse:
University of Iowa Faculty, Staff, Alumni and Associates' Papers