Image not available

The Corn Room
Image not available

Wild Flowers
Image not available

March
Image not available

January
Image not available

In the Spring
Image not available

July Fifteenth

 

Grant Wood

Grant Wood was born in Anamosa, Iowa and became the unofficial leader of the Regionalist artists. Though he studied in both New York and Europe, he lived most of his life in Iowa and devoted the majority of his artworks to subjects connected to rural and small town life. His painting method shifted in the late 1920s, away from a somewhat impressionistic style seen in his Corn Room mural toward a more realistic style within compositions organized tightly on geometric principles. Though best known for his painting, American Gothic, he was also a prolific printmaker, producing a large number of lithographs in the 1930s.

 

The Corn Room

Donor

Donated by Alan Fredregill

This work is on long-term exhibition.

Historical Context

The Corn Room mural was one of four murals commissioned by Omaha businessman Eugene Eppley for his hotels in Council Bluffs, Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, and Sioux City. Originally part of the historical Martin Hotel, the Corn Room was created by Grant Wood in 1926, then lost for decades under paint and old wallpaper, only to be rediscovered in 1979.

The mural was initially donated to the Art Center in 1986 by Tower Properties, Ltd., but when the corporation went into bankruptcy in 1989, the courts made the donation invalid and ordered it to be sold at auction. In 1995, this auction was held at the Sioux City Art Center, and the mural was purchased by Sioux City attorney, Alan Fredregill for $80,000. He spent the next year looking for a permanent home for the Corn Room, ultimately donating it to the Art Center where it was accessioned into the permanent collection.

The Corn Room is a significant transitional work for Wood’s development. His conception of Regionalism, the only Modernist art movement to come out of the Midwest, emerges in this mural. We can see his embrace of the local subjects and native landscape familiar from Wood’s mature, Regionalist works of the 1930s, but the mural is executed in an earlier, painterly technique where he created his imagery by removing paint from the prepared canvas. This subtractive technique resulted in severe damage to the canvas when it was covered in the 1950s. The conservation process saved the mural, but the resulting damage has dimmed the imagery and shifted his colors towards the golden-brown visible today.

Wild Flowers

March

Grant Wood

American (Midwestern Artist)

1891-1942

March, 1939

lithograph

Sioux City Art Center Permanent Collection; 998.06

Purchase with funds provided by Alan Fredregill Fund

January

Donor

Gift of the Burlington Northern Foundation