The Ghost of Grant Wood

Long before I knew about his connection to the University of Iowa, I was a fan of artist Grant Wood.

Long before I even set foot in the state of Iowa, I appreciated Wood’s curvaceous renderings of Midwestern landscapes, swelling with ripe corn and undulating hills. While American Gothic has been parodied to the point that I can barely look at the original, I love losing myself in the stylized details of Spring in Town, Young Corn, and The Birthplace of Herbert Hoover.

Nonetheless, I still didn’t know that much about one of my favorite artists—especially his career at the UI. An article in the recently published February 2011 issue of Iowa Alumni Magazine helped fill in some of those gaps—with some surprising revelations about artistic divas, jealousy, and scandal.

As a key benefit of their membership, UI Alumni Association members have access to all the articles from each issue of Iowa Alumni Magazine. This particular feature, “The Ghost of Grant Wood,” is also available to the public. Read it here,, and then let me know what you think. And, of course, if you enjoy the article and would like to have full access to our award-winning magazine, please join the UIAA.

Tina Owen

Grant Wood (American, 1892-1942)
Stone City, Iowa, 1930
oil on wood panel, 30 1/4 x 40 inches
Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, NE
Gift of the Art Institute of Omaha
© Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

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