Grant Wood Archive
In 1964, the Davenport Municipal Art Gallery (now the Figge Art Museum) acquired a rich collection of objects and art from Grant Wood’s sister and frequent model, Nan Wood Graham. The acquisition not only included works of art, but also what has been described as “….a generous slice of his life…” in the form of correspondence and personal effects. Among the more significant objects, the archive includes Wood’s familiar wire‐rimmed glasses, his easel and painting tools, as well as the iconic cameo broach that appears in the portrait of his mother, Woman with Plants, 1929, and in his most famous painting, American Gothic, 1930.
Iowa Digital Library Figge Art Museum Grant Wood Digital Collection
At the core of the archive are the scrapbooks and albums in which Nan accumulated volumes of correspondence, newspaper articles, and photographs related to Wood’s life and to her efforts to protect the image she held of her brother. Also documented are Nan’s efforts to protect her own reputation as her dour image in American Gothic increasingly became the subject of parody in print and film. As a result, the scrapbooks and albums are a valuable research tool for scholars and curators interested in Grant Wood. Until now, these fragile and irreplaceable documents have been unavailable to the general public. Thanks to a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation American Art Renewal Fund and with the in‐kind support of the University of Iowa Libraries, we are pleased to be able to share the scrapbooks and related materials in the Iowa Digital Library Figge Art Museum Grant Wood Digital Collection.
Explore Wood’s life in depth, through his own words and through the words of those closest to him, in the Iowa Digital Library Figge Art Museum Grant Wood Digital Collection.
View Wood's war memorial window sketchbook from the 1920s.
You may also be interested in the following resources:
Grant Wood Collection at the Archives of American Art
University of Iowa Archives Grant Wood Bibliography
The Figge Art Museum Grant Wood Digital Collection is made possible with the generous support of the University of Iowa Libraries Iowa Digital Library and through the Henry Luce Foundation American Art Renewal Fund.
Additional support for conservation provided by
The Figge Art Museum Grant Wood Digital Collection is dedicated in memory of the late Michelle Robinson, PhD, Curator of Collections, 1998-2008.
Copyright: Grant Wood Artwork images (c) Figge Art Museum, successors to the Estate of Nan Wood Graham / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.