American Regionalist artist, Grant Wood was born in Anamosa, Iowa in 1892. He attended the Minneapolis School of Design, Handicraft and Normal Art as a student of Ernest Batchelder. He also studied briefly at Iowa State University and the Art Institute of Chicago. He taught high school art in Cedar Rapids, Iowa after World War I. Wood made several visits to France, enrolling in the Academie Julian in Paris in 1923. He was co-founder of the Stone City Art Colony and Art School in 1932 and he became director of the Public Works Art Project in Iowa.
Wood’s works can be separated into two periods: the first being views of Cedar Rapids, the second being landscapes including scenes of Europe, as well as a few portraits. In 1928, Wood’s work changed as he traveled to Munich to oversee the production of a stained-glass window for the Cedar Rapids Veterans Memorial Building that had been commissioned by the Daughters of the American Revolution. After this time, Wood developed a new style treating his mid-western subjects with more gothic overtones, satire and caricature.
Lithographs comprise most of Wood’s later works, he completed nineteen of them from 1937 to 1942. Having embraced the print medium late in his career, Wood recruited Francis Chapin from the Art Institute of Chicago to teach lithography at the Stone City Art Colony. Wood embraced the medium in 1937 and executed almost twice as many prints than oil compositions during the latter years of his career. Producing at least four prints per year, Wood usually produced a drawing, then transferred it to the stone plate on a pulpit on his back porch. He signed each lithograph before mailing them to buyers, some of which would purchase the prints sight unseen, even prior to their production. Wood often gave lithographs as gifts or in return for services rendered and through lithography, he was able to alleviate his financial difficulties that stemmed from a marriage that ended in 1939.
Wood nearly represented all the seasons and months of the year in his lithographs with March representing the last month of winter. He became ill during the winter of 1941 and died of inoperable pancreatic cancer in 1942.