American Gothic (Hardcover)
The Life of Grant Wood
Abrams Books for Young Readers, 9781419725333, 40pp.
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
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From humble beginnings sketching Iowa’s cornfields and rolling hills as a child, Grant Wood became the father of regionalism, an artistic movement that celebrated the simple and real-life surroundings of the people. When studying art in Europe in the early 20th century, Grant couldn’t find a style that touched his heart quite right. Impressionism, cubism, and abstract art didn’t reflect his view of the world. It wasn’t until he stumbled upon Gothic art that Grant recognized something familiar.
Back home in America, Grant asked his sister and his dentist to pose for what would become the founding, iconic image of regionalism and a uniquely American work of art. Grant’s art celebrated hard-working Americans who finally saw themselves in fine art. American Gothic is a picture-book biography that explores the birth of the famous painting, the movement that made it possible, and the artist who created it all.
About the Author
Susan Wood is the author of many picture books, including American Gothic and Esquivel! She lives in Norfolk, Virginia. Visit her online at susanwoodbooks.com.
Ross MacDonald is the award-winning illustrator of Hey Batta Batta Swing!; Another Perfect Day; and Hit the Road, Jack. His illustrations appear in Vanity Fair, the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Atlantic, Newsweek, Time, the Wall Street Journal, Harper’s, and Rolling Stone. He lives in Connecticut, where he operates Brightwork Press.
Praise For American Gothic: The Life of Grant Wood…
"Young readers are treated to a crash course in modern art while witnessing Wood's evolution as an artist. A sunny palette of yellows, greens, and browns is perfect for Wood's regionalist art and the inspirational tone of the volume."
"MacDonald’s watercolor illustrations show the diligent, bespectacled painter, always clad in denim overalls, looking at art, painting at an easel, and gazing at the rolling Iowa fields he loved so much, and he nicely mimics the bright colors and naturalistic lines of Grant Wood’s own paintings."
"An introduction to the artist, the movement, and the famous painting, this book illuminates and exalts the U.S. artist who followed his heart and drew what he knew best...Designed to be read aloud and enjoyed by all ages."
"MacDonald’s illustrations are, as usual, a celebration of America’s yesteryears, and are ideally suited to the rural, regional focus that Wood brought to his art...an inspiring study of an artist who learned to find beauty, truth, and inspiration in the people and landscape of his home."
"Susan Wood addresses head-on some of the debates and myths surrounding the cryptic figures of the iconic pitchfork and its dour owners...MacDonald is an ideal choice for illustrator, with his signature retro style and saturated colors."