Grant Wood revisited

Year after year, I’m astounded to see the new ways Grant Wood has shaped America’s vision of the Midwestern landscape. His view of Iowa will forever be the quintessential visual reference to our way of life here.

This month, Emily Grosvenor writes about the many places to see Wood’s lasting legacy. Trips to Eldon, Anamosa, Stone City, and Cedar Rapids yield personal glimpses into Wood’s life — something that not many of us can say we’ve experienced. However, each year, Wood enthusiasts make the pilgrimage to these ‘shrines,’ keeping Wood at the forefront of the art world, and remembered as one of art history’s masters.

One location I will personally trek to is Wood’s Cedar Rapids studio, 5 Turner Alley. Close to downtown Cedar Rapids, 5 Turner Alley is owned and operated by the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, which houses the world’s largest collection of his works. The studio, which has been under renovation since February 2006, is more than just a place Wood lived. It was in this studio that Wood painted one of the world’s most famous works of art — American Gothic.

There, one can peer out the very same windows he did — though the view has changed dramatically over the years — and get a sense of what it may have been like to be him. Many artists can identify with this feeling as they sit in their own studios, brooding over the next brush stroke, or pondering the meaning of life.

Imagine, just imagine, the what-ifs: will art fans make the pilgrimage to your studio? Will they pass through your town to see what all the excitement is about?

Thanks for reading.
Roderick Kabel