An exhibition of works from famed Iowa artist Grant Wood opens today (Thursday) in the central Iowa town of Perry. Fifteen of Wood’s paintings and lithographs will be featured, in addition to one of his sculptures. Bill Clark, president of “Hometown Perry, Iowa” says it’s a beautiful collection of Wood’s work, ranging from 1919 to 1941. Clark says “The significance of our exhibition has to do with his early works that were influenced by impressionism, by his trips back and forth to Europe, by the land and the people in both places and his impressions of that.” He says the exhibit features many early works which some people may not recognize as that of Wood. Clark says the oldest lithographs are in the Impressionist style.Wood was architecturally influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement so some of the works are architectural in form, like doorways, and he was also experimenting with coloration. Clark says other works will clearly be seen as Grant Wood’s stylistically, depicting the land and people of the Midwest. It’s said Wood’s “American Gothic” is among the most-recognized paintings in the world while many people will also now recognize “Arbor Day” from its depiction on the back of Iowa’s commemorative quarter. While neither of those paintings are in the Perry exhibition, Clark says people might know another of Wood’s items on display. The sculpture “Lillies of the Alley” is one of Wood’s best known pieces, featuring “found” objects from the alley behind his studio. The exhibit in Perry is being featured at the Carnegie Library Museum and the Security Bank Building through November 27th. It sets the stage for a major Grant Wood show that opens September 10th at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art.
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