Grant Wood: American Gothic and Other Fables

Solo en Inglès

Exhibition projection of When Tillage Begins, Other Arts Follow and Study for Breaking the Prairie


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Narrator: The video projected here documents one of Wood’s largest projects, a New-Deal era mural he oversaw in the Iowa State library in Ames. 

Sarah Humphreville: One of the sub-projects of the New Deal was directed at artist relief and the first project to do this was called the Public Works of Art project. It launched in December 1933, and Wood was pretty quickly appointed to be the state director for Iowa. He used the University of Iowa and Iowa City as his headquarters and then he ended up teaching there shortly after his appointment was made. In addition to being appointed the state director, he was also among the first artist to receive a commission, and this commission was for three murals for the library at Iowa State University in Ames on the theme of "When tillage begins, other arts follow," which is a quote taken from Daniel Webster. 

Drawing of two men breaking prairie, another stands holding the reigns of a horse and speaking to a woman.

Narrator: The video projected here documents one of Wood’s largest projects, a New-Deal era mural he oversaw in the Iowa State library in Ames. 

Sarah Humphreville: One of the sub-projects of the New Deal was directed at artist relief and the first project to do this was called the Public Works of Art project. It launched in December 1933, and Wood was pretty quickly appointed to be the state director for Iowa. He used the University of Iowa and Iowa City as his headquarters and then he ended up teaching there shortly after his appointment was made. In addition to being appointed the state director, he was also among the first artist to receive a commission, and this commission was for three murals for the library at Iowa State University in Ames on the theme of "When tillage begins, other arts follow," which is a quote taken from Daniel Webster. 


Grant Wood, Study for Breaking the Prairie, 1935–39. Colored pencil, chalk, and graphite pencil on paper, 22 3/4 x 80 1/4 in. (57.8 x 203.8 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Mr. and Mrs. George D. Stoddard 81.33.2a–c. © Figge Art Museum, successors to the Estate of Nan Wood Graham/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY