Grant Wood (February 13, 1891 - February 12, 1942) was an American painter, born in Anamosa, Iowa. He is best known for his painting depicting the rural American Midwest.
Wood's most famous work is his 1930 painting American Gothic. The two who posed for the painting were Wood's sister, Nan Wood Graham, and the family dentist, Dr. Byron McKeeby. The cottage in the background was located in Eldon, Iowa. The painting was first exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago where it won a $300 prize. Ms. Wood Graham, a personality far removed from the dingy repression she embodies in the picture, claimed that the fame it brought her saved her 'from life as the world's worst stenographer'. The painting gained instant renown after newspapers across the country reported the story. In current times, the painting is often satirized, though it remains one of the top examples of Regionalism and American art.
Wood founded the Stone City art colony in 1933, near his hometown. He became a great proponent of regionalism in the arts, lecturing throughout the country on the topic. He is considered Cedar Rapids' patron artist. He taught art at the University of Iowa.
One of his designs is depicted on the 2004 Iowa State Quarter.