Art Art &Bill Peckmann 03 Apr 2011 07:39 am

Grant Wood

- I was recently thinking about Grant Wood. This came out of my reading the biography of Maurice Noble by Robert McKinnon. And from Maurice Noble I thought about Paul Julian‘s great background work. Julian, and for that matter Noble, both look as though they were greatly influenced by Grant Wood..

So it was a surprise to receive a number of scans of work by Grant Wood from Bill Peckmann. We seem to be on the same wavelength. So I’m devoting today’s blog to this book of images from Wood. I think he influenced quite a few of the animation designers of the 40s and 50s.

The cover of the catalogue.

Spring Turning 1936

New Road 1939

Haying 1939

Stone City, Iowa 1930

Death on the Ridge Road 1935

Midnight Ride of Paul Revere 1931

Fall Plowing 1931

Autumn Oaks 1932

The birthplace of Herbert Hoover 1931

Iowa Landscape 1941

Plowing 1936

American Gothic 1936

Self Portrait 1932

Many thanks to Bill Peckmann for sharing these works with us.

8 Responses to “Grant Wood”

  1. on 03 Apr 2011 at 10:03 am 1.Steven Hartley said …

    I know the American Gothic picture as I’ve seen it elsewhere before.

  2. on 03 Apr 2011 at 10:28 am 2.The Gee said …

    Sometimes I feel as if I’m cheating by doing this because I should know better:

    the Works Project Administration.

    The landscapes that are featured here made me immediately think of paintings that were for the WPA. The dates seemed right.

    According to briefly skimming the Wikipedia entry, he did teach through the WPA.
    Oh yeah, Steven, that painting is arguably his best known one. It is certainly one of the most imitated ones this side of The Mona Lisa and The Last Supper.

  3. on 04 Apr 2011 at 9:50 am 3.Michael Barrier said …

    Actually, the influence Julian cited was not Grant Wood but Brueghel, which made sense to me as soon as he mentioned it.

  4. on 04 Apr 2011 at 12:46 pm 4.Eddie Fitzgerald said …

    Beautiful pictures! “Death on the Ridge Road” might have been the inspiration for one of my favotite Bill Peet illustrations in (I think) “Chester the Worldly Pig.”

  5. on 04 Apr 2011 at 4:23 pm 5.The Gee said …

    Julian cited Brueghel? That’s interesting but still makes a lot of sense that you would have thought of Wood’s influence, too.

    It’s funny that you bring up Brueghel.

    A couple of things: upon seeing the Wood paintings you chose to show, I thought of Brueghel’s paintings…without people in them.

    What makes it kind of funny is someone once told me Old Peter was under appreciated as a single-panel gag cartoonist. I have to agree. His sense of humor was sublime and so subtle.

  6. on 07 Apr 2011 at 9:24 pm 6.Tom Minton said …

    Chuck Jones referenced “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” in his 1995 remake of “One Froggy Evening”, “Another Froggy Evening”, in one quick background shot.

  7. on 08 Apr 2011 at 4:43 pm 7.Bill Perkins said …

    Hi Michael. I’m also a big fan of Grant Woods. On Amazon there is a book on him published last year. It got great reviews and I’m planning to order a copy. Stellar posts as always, keep up the good work. You’re site is one of my daily online stops and your postings are always of great interest. I appreciate the time and the amount of work that you put into it.

  8. on 31 Jan 2012 at 5:42 pm 8.Nathan Redshield said …

    Re: Death on the Ridge Road

    Had seen this with my then girlfriend at an exhibition on Grant Wood ca. 1994, along with several other of the pictures shown here.

    I immediately came up with a better name for “Death on the Ridge Road”: “American Golgotha”.
    Further, note the symbolism of the two telegraph poles with cross-arms: just like the crosses at Golgotha. The painting is a cautionary tale for drivers; the large car that is likely to not succeed in passing is probably driven by city folk who don’t realize the danger of the situation.

    My girl thought it was witty and both of us had experience with two-lane roads and she was at first surprised that I knew how to pass and when on two-lane roads. My Dad taught me how to handle passing on two-lane roads in Pennsylvania; he had grown up in West Virginia before it had driver age limits so he started driving at 15 in 1932.

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