Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “American Gothic: The Life of Grant Wood” as Want to Read:
American Gothic: The Life of Grant Wood
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

American Gothic: The Life of Grant Wood

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  73 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
From humble beginnings sketching Iowa’s cornfields and rolling hills as a child, Grant Wood became the father of regionalism, an artistic movement that celebrated the simple and real-life surroundings of the people. When studying art in Europe in the early 20th century, Grant couldn’t find a style that touched his heart quite right. Impressionism, cubism, and abstract art ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 5th 2017 by Harry N. Abrams
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about American Gothic, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about American Gothic

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
David Schaafsma
Grant Wood's "American Gothic" painting (the portrait of the two Iowan farmers, one with a pitchfork) is housed in the Chicago Art Institute, where I visit 2-3 times a year. I grew up seeing this painting, and knew a bit about Wood's Iowan farmer's roots and his traveling to Europe to explore different art styles. He found one that was a turn on realism, the Gothic, and he made a decision to adapt this approach to his own work in Iowa, so he became known as one of the founders of regionalism. It ...more
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This biography of Grant Wood focuses on his life as an artist, beginning with his simple drawings as a child in Iowa to his exploration of European styles. Wood traveled to Europe to learn about popular styles of the time. The book shows him emulating the styles of Monet, Picasso, and Mondrian but he finds that his heart just isn't in it. He finally returns to Iowa. After finding a farmhouse with a gothic inspired window, he painted his sister and dentist as hard working farmers. This unique and ...more
Artists from rural areas and from the United States have long been denigrated in favor of those from Europe, and budding artists often journeyed abroad to hone their artistic talents. Although artist Grant Wood loved Iowa where he grew up, he missed the rural areas while he was in Europe soaking up all the artwork by masters there. Once he returned home, he drew on his connections to painting during the Gothic period and combined it with his love for Iowa and its hardworking men and women, in th ...more
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Moving story of the life of the famous author, Grant Wood. Provides important background information and also does a good job at illustrating his struggle to find his own voice.
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Even as a young Iowa farmboy, Grant Wood loved to draw. As he aged, his drawings progressed and he explored the art culture beyond his midwestern landscape; but in the end, Grant came back to create a vision of the region that he loved. Readers will enjoy learning how Grant came to paint the classic American Gothic and represent common people during the Great Depression. The details of his life are sparse in the story, but the author’s note and timeline at the end help anyone looking to know mor ...more
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Two bronze lions weighing more than two tons each, gifts from the late Mrs. Henry Field, poised on the prowl and in an attitude of defiance, flank the entrance. They have stood in this position at 111 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, since 1894. All who enter the Art Institute of Chicago cannot help but notice their regal stance.

As you wander from gallery to gallery within this building, you will undoubtedly find yourself walking through Gallery 263. It is the home of one of America's m
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I did not know the story of the famous American Gothic painting, nor of the person who painted it. But now I do! What a great picture book, telling the story of how it came to be. Grant Wood's life and love for art starts in Iowa. He then travels to Europe to learn and study. Various styles of painting that he encounters and experiments with are abstract art, impressionism and cubism. But none of these styles speak to his heart. He returns to Iowa and creates a whole new style: Regionalism! And ...more
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Woods is a child of Iowa, who drew pictures of his beloved area even as a child. He left Iowa to study art in Europe. He tried various styles while there, including cubism, impressionism and abstract art. But he found his voice when he saw Gothic art in a museum. He returned to Iowa and created his best-known work, American Gothic, using his sister and dentist as models. Wood writes with a storytellers tone as she writes of Wood’s exploration of art and his triumphant return and the birth of reg ...more
Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-36
After exploring impressionism, cubism, abstract art Grant Wood returned to his roots in the United States. This book explores Woods style and his paintings He created his own style, Regionalism, which captured American hearts during the depression of the 1930's. Art teacher will like the well written, but short introduction to Wood's life and will appreciate the back matter as well.
Mary Librarian
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An excellent biography on the man who created Regionalism art. His story of how he found himself as an artist is inspiring.

The illustration have a turn of the century feel to them and also take on several art forms. The illustration help to show Grant as an artist and what the Midwest looked like during his life time.

I also liked the similar but cool endpapers.
The journey of Grant Wood as an artist. As he traveled through Europe trying to adapt to different painting styles, he learned that his true inspiration lady in his own backyard. He returned home and painted the iconic American Gothic and created a new style of art known as Regionalism.
I didn't know how historically significant that painting actually was!
Rachel Newlin
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s, art
This was simply delightful. I especially enjoyed the small art history lesson that occurred in the middle of the book, where Grant Wood is "trying" different art techniques and trends while in Europe. The message, overall, was that art comes from the heart, and when it does -- it resonates with people all over. It was simple, enjoyable, and easy to love.
Oct 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An excellent picture book biography of Regionalist artist Grant Wood. This book focuses largely on his most famous work, American Gothic, but also recounts his childhood and early art life in Europe and discusses other works. Illustrator MacDonald wonderfully reproduces Wood's art and brightly, clearly, illustrates his life. Excellent back-matter with photos. Highly recommended.
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I rarely give 5 stars for a short book, unless it's a classic children's book, but this was very, very good. The pictures were beautiful. I learned a lot about the history of the painting. I did not realize until today the meaning of the title of the painting.
Dec 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very nice and approachable introduction to the life and work of Grant Wood.
Kevin Summers
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
More non-fiction books for children like this book by Susan Wood and Ross MacDonald, please.
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
The perfect illustrations. An interesting story. Bio picture books can be dry but I didn't feel that way with this one.
Well done biography of a well-known artist, love the message about making art that comes from your heart.
Sarah Thornbery
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent picture book biography about the artist Grant Wood, who created "American Gothic" as well as several others.
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really interesting.
rated it really liked it
Jul 18, 2018
rated it really liked it
Feb 06, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Jan 08, 2018
rated it really liked it
Oct 11, 2017
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
rated it really liked it
Nov 21, 2017
rated it really liked it
Jun 14, 2018
rated it really liked it
Dec 20, 2017
Margaret Cameron-ameen
rated it really liked it
Jan 23, 2018
rated it liked it
May 02, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Aug 20, 2018
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »