Wednesday, January 27, 2010

American Gothic - Book Review

American Gothic
by Thomas Hoving
Chamberlain Brothers 2005

Todays book reviews are all my own books that I read during the latter half of my stay in Hospital.

Most Americans are familiar with the painting known as American Gothic. It's a very famous American painting. This book is about the life of Grant Wood, the painter, and the story of this specific masterpiece.

Grant Wood was born and raised in Iowa in 1891. He always had a knack for drawing and so in 1910, after High school, he enrolled in an Art School in Minnesota. In 1913 he enrolled at the Art Institute in Chicago.

Between 1920 to 1928 Grant made four trips to Europe, where he studied many styles of paintings.He was influenced the most by the 15th century artist Jan Van Eyck.

In the 1920s Grant lived in a carriage house in Cedar Rapids and tried to paint. He received one major commission - to create a stained glass window for a Veterans Memorial building in town. In 1932 Grant helped to found the Stone City Art Colony to help artists get through the depression. From 1934 Grant taught painting at the School of Art at the University of Iowa. He died of cancer in 1942, the day before he would have turned 51 years old.

This book gives a brief rundown of Grants life. It also gives a detailed overview of the American Gothic painting. It goes into details as to why Grant used certain images, lines, colours and so on. I enjoyed this book immensely. Despite American Gothic NOT being one of my favourite paintings.

I read this book for the Art History challenge.

No comments: