The Story Behind Grant Wood's 'American Gothic'

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

hide captionGrant 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
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
American Gothic

The Biography of Grant Wood's American Masterpiece

by Thomas Hoving and Grant Wood

Paperback, 165 pages | purchase

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  • American Gothic
  • The Biography of Grant Wood's American Masterpiece
  • Thomas Hoving and Grant Wood

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