The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art opened a major exhibit by Iowa’s most famous artist Saturday. Museum executive director Terry Pitts says the exhibit, “Grant Wood At Five Turner Alley ” is probably the most comprehensive Iowa exhibit of Grant Wood’s work in 10 or 12 years. He says the focus is primarily on the 10-year period when Wood lived in his studio in downtown Cedar Rapids known as “Five Turner Alley.” Pitts says the idea for the exhibit began when the museum bought the studio, which is really an apartment over a garage. He says they converted the garage to a visitors center and that started off the idea for an exhibit on the time when Wood painted in the studio. He says it was an critical decade as Wood “transformed himself from a local impressionist painter to a world-renowned regionalist.” Pitts says the exhibit includes works from across the country. He says they’re borrowing from 22 private collectors or museums, including the Art Institute of Chicago, which lent “American Gothic,” and the Metropolitan Museum of Art which lent “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere.” He says there’s a real core group of the major Wood paintings from major art museums. Pitts says the exhibit also includes murals and functional decorative arts works in wood and metal created by wood. Wood’s painting “Arbor Day” is featured on the Iowa quarter and Pitts says that helped bring new attention to his works.He says most people know “American Gothic” and not much else, so he says the quarter image helped bring more recognition, which he says is their goal. The Grant Wood studio is three blocks away and will be conducting tours. The museum and studio hours are Saturday: 10 A.M. to 4 p.m.; Tuesdays 10 A.M. 4 p.m.; Wednesdays 10 A.M. 7 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays 10 4 p.m.; Saturdays noon to 4 p.m.; Closed Sundays and Mondays.
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