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American Gothic: The Life of Grant Wood Hardcover – September 5, 2017
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"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."
"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."
About the Author
Ross MacDonald is the illustrator of many books for children, including Henry's Hand and Hit the Road, Jack. He lives in Connecticut.
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Wood with Thomas Hart Benton and John Steuart Curry were the leading artists of the Regionalism style based in the Midwest featuring agriculture and open spaces. Both Benton and Wood developed a very graphic style of painting with Benton creating a powerful montage look to his many murals. Wood's work frequently has a bird's eye view of the landscape full of lovely rolling hills, stylised trees and vegetation, MacDonald's pictures in the book capture this soft, warm feel of the countryside.
The last four pages in the book look at Regionalism and the public reception of American Gothic, Midwesterner's were none too keen it seems. There are four other paintings and a photo of Wood's sister Nan and his dentist Byron McKeeby who are the two people in the painting, the last page has a timeline of Wood's life and a short bibliography.