Grant Wood: American Gothic and Other Fables
Audio Guide Playlist

Barbara Haskell: Spring in the Country and Spring in Town were the two last paintings that Wood executed before his death. He had become very involved in the political situation in Europe. He was very liberal. He was a great fan of President Roosevelt and a number of intellectuals. With those intellectuals he agreed that somehow American cynicism had begun to erode patriotism, and with the rise of fascism in Europe, the nation was actually in danger of being invaded.

Wood, in picking up on what Roosevelt said, he actually cited Roosevelt as his impetus and inspiration, he talked about the fact that artists had to really come to the fore. It was a time when Americans had to be reminded of what they stood to lose if they didn't defend the country. He talked about wanting to create images of a homey American life that would be worthy of defense.

Narrator: Wood meant to create a whole series of these paintings. He painted only two, and they were the last works he made. Late in 1941, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He died a few months later, just a few hours short of his fifty-second birthday.

Thank you for joining me. This is the last stop on our tour. 

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