Departmental Gothic: Grant Wood at the U. of Iowa

Departmental Gothic: Grant Wood at the U. of Iowa 1

State Historical Society of Iowa

A populist celebrity, Grant Wood had no academic credentials when he began teaching at the U. of Iowa in 1934.

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State Historical Society of Iowa

A populist celebrity, Grant Wood had no academic credentials when he began teaching at the U. of Iowa in 1934.

In 1934, the self-proclaimed "farmer painter," Grant Wood—whose iconic image of a pitchfork-wielding farmer and his dour companion, "American Gothic," had brought him national fame four years earlier—assumed a new title: Professor Wood. Applauding the artist's arrival at the University of Iowa, The Des Moines Register announced, "It is gladdening that Mr. Wood is not without honor in his own land."

As fitting as the Register may have found the