The Story Behind Grant Wood's 'American Gothic'

Grant Wood (American).  'American Gothic,' 1930. Oil on board. i i

Grant Wood (American). American Gothic, 1930. Oil on board. The Art Institute of Chicago, Friends of American Art collection, (catalog number) 1930.934. The Art Institute of Chicago hide caption

itoggle caption The Art Institute of Chicago
Grant Wood (American).  'American Gothic,' 1930. Oil on board.

Grant Wood (American). American Gothic, 1930. Oil on board. The Art Institute of Chicago, Friends of American Art collection, (catalog number) 1930.934.

The Art Institute of Chicago

The Grant Wood painting American Gothic is a touchstone of American culture, depicting an upright Midwestern family on the farm. The story behind the painting is the subject of Thomas Hoving's book American Gothic: The Biography of Grant Wood's American Masterpiece. A native of Iowa, Wood and his paintings were rooted in the Midwest. His style, however, owed something to the realism of 15th-century northern European artists. Susan Stamberg interviews Hoving, already a best-selling author and once the director of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, about his exploration into Wood's most famous painting.

Books Featured In This Story

American Gothic

The Biography of Grant Wood's American Masterpiece

by Thomas Hoving and Grant Wood

Paperback, 165 pages | purchase

Purchase Featured Book

Title
American Gothic
Subtitle
The Biography of Grant Wood's American Masterpiece
Author
Thomas Hoving and Grant Wood

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.