Saturday, May 31, 2014


Grant Wood (1891-1942), famous for "AMERICAN GOTHIC", but a friend and neighbor to the Amanas. He lived only down the road in Cedar Rapids. He would come to Amana to sketch, paint, lecture, and meet with local art friend, Carl Flick, who wrote him a letter of interest which Grant Wood liked and came to help the beginning painter. They became friends and he was often invited for dinner, liking the potatoes Mrs. Flick made. He knew she liked blue and once painted her a special still life in blues. That painting was bought by a friend at a Homestead auction! While in Amana, Wood inspired resident arts and crafts people to maintain their traditional handicrafts and paint what they saw and knew in their own areas in a time when it was not popular to do so in pre 1932 Amana. Elders of the church saw decorative arts as "worldly" and a violation of the 2nd commandment. There are photos of Wood standing at his easel in his white shirt, overalls and hat painting in the orchard or vineyard areas. He would bring his friends, Marvin Cone and Adrian Dornbush. Wood' s famous painting "Woman with Plant"  his mom, Hattie, holds a plant that many have offshoots from, including me. One was given each Cedar Rapids art teacher as that is also where Grant Wood once taught. So a "bit" of Grant Wood still exists in Amana today! PBS photos..

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