BiographyGrant Wood is Iowa’s most well-known artist. Born in 1891 on a farm near Anamosa, he attended the Minneapolis School of Design and Handicraft, also taking night classes at the Art Institute of Chicago. For most of his professional career, he lived and worked in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In 1930, Wood’s "American Gothic" was awarded the Harris Bronze Medal at the American Painting Exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1931, he founded the Stone City Art Colony. He worked with the Works Progress Administration for Iowa from 1933-34. He taught at the University of Iowa from 1933-1942 and served as the Head of the Art Department for part of that time. In 1942, he died in Iowa City, Iowa.
The lithograph by Wood in the Fine Arts Collection is entitled, "Tree Planting Group." This lithograph, acquired through the Kemp Endowment for the Visual Arts in memory of Henrietta Bonnell Zagel, was completed in 1937. The work is actually a detail of the larger painting "Arbor Day" which Wood finished in 1932, omitting the horse and wagon in the foreground. Wood’s lithograph series resulted from a 1937 request by Associated American Artists to develop new markets for artists during the Depression. Wood was a contributing artist to the group. The original lithographs were sold for $5.00 each and were usually produced in limited editions of 250. "Tree Planting Group" was the first lithograph done by Wood of the 19 he eventually completed.
Source of BiographyGarwood, Darrell. Artist in Iowa: a Life of Grant Wood. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Co., Inc. 1944; Corn, Wanda M. Grant Wood: the Regionalist Vision. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1983; Cole, Sylvan. Grant Wood: the Lithographs: a Catalogue Raisonné, New York, NY: Associated American Artists, 1984; Graham, Nan Wood with John Zug and Julie Jensen McDonald. My Brother, Grant Wood. Iowa City, IA: State Historical Society of Iowa, 1993.