Paperback – January 1, 1995
By James M. Dennis
This book was the compendium to the March 23rd to September 8th, 1996 exhibition, "Grant Wood: An American Master Revealed," at the Davenport Museum of Art. This was one of the largest and most complete retrospectives of his work to appear in the United States. This excellent book presents the artists work in the context of his times. In the process, it undoes the image somewhat of his own creation of the bucolic farmer artist.
In fact, the book exhibit (book) made the case for considering Wood (1891-1942) a good artistic fit for what was going on in the rest of the art world. The problem was the times in which he worked.
As the United States slid into the depression and adopted an isolationist position in the world, Americans looked for artists that fit the American mode, Wood and his fellow Regionalists, Thomas Hart Benton and John Steuart Curry, offered Americans what at least appeared to be the visual manifestation of American values: rural life, hard work and native beauty.