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    Metroploitan Art Essay (1193 words)

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    I recently took a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. There they had many great painting in the permanent art collection. One that caught my eye, which I had seen many times before, but never knew any thing about, was a painting called The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, which was created by Grant Wood in 1931. This painting is oil on wood panel and is 30 40 inches. Grant Wood is a famous philosopher who was born in February in the year 1891 in Anamosa, Iowa. Wood was born to Quaker parents on a small farm.

    This experience would be the basis of his iconic images of small-town plain folk and verdant Midwestern vistas. He later moved to Cedar Rapids after the death of his father in 1901. He first studied at the Minneapolis School of design between 1910 and 1911 and became a professional designer while attending night courses at the University of Iowa and at the Art Institute of Chicago. At the end of 1915 he gave up designing and returned to Cedar Rapids. After his military service he taught painting and drawing at the public school of Cedar Rapids and visited Paris in 1920 with Marvin Cone.

    His early works were outdoor scenes combining a bright palette and a loose, impressionistic style. Some other information about Grant Wood’s was that Wood was trained as a craftsman and designer as well as a painter. After spending a year (1923) at the Acad? “©mie Julian in Paris, he returned to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where in 1927 he was commissioned to do a stained-glass window. Knowing little about stained glass, he went to Germany to seek craftsmen to assist him. While there he was deeply influenced by the sharply detailed paintings of various German and Flemish masters of the 16th century.

    Wood subsequently abandoned his Impressionist style and began to paint in the sharply detailed, realistic manner by which he is now known. A portrait of his mother in this style, “Woman with Plants” (1929), did not attract attention, but in 1930 his “American Gothic” caused a sensation when it was exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago. The hard, cold realism of this painting and the honest, direct, earthy quality of its subject were unusual in American art. The work ostensibly portrays a farmer-preacher and his daughter in front of their farmhouse, but Wood actually used his sister, Nan, and his dentist, B. H. McKeeby, as models.

    As a telling portrait of the sober and hard-working rural dwellers of the Midwest, the painting has become one of the best-known icons of American art. Wood became one of the leading figures of the Regionalist movement. Another well-known painting by him is “Daughters of Revolution” (1932), a satirical portrait of three unattractive old women who appear smugly satisfied with their American Revolutionary ancestry. In 1934 Wood was made assistant professor of fine arts at the University of Iowa, Iowa City.

    Among his other principal works are several paintings illustrating episodes from American history and a series of Midwestern rural landscapes that communicate a strong sense of American ambience by means of a skillful simplification of form. (The Art Encyclopedia) Wood’s style became known as the School of American Regionalism. (Wikipedia) Personal depictions of rural America and minute attention to detail are characteristic of his paintings. The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere (1931) shows his careful approach to landscape. While referring to the narrative subject of this Paul Revere ride, Wood does not attempt historical accuracy.

    In fact, he shows little interest in the event itself, and instead, shows the landscape and the architecture of colonial Massachusetts. It is a highly personal vision of American culture, which some claim is an uncertain mixture of adoration and parody. Supposedly the source and inspiration for the horse, and the painting itself, was a child’s rocking horse. At least that is what a staff member of the MET proclaimed. The bird’s eye view of the town and surrounding countryside becomes eerie when rendered with Wood’s formal and emotional precision.

    Much like his legendary American Gothic (1930), The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere (1931) draws its power from formal imagination and moral vagueness. Paul Revere was a lookout assigned to keep watch for British troops near Boston. On April 18, 1775, they spotted the British and rode through Massachusetts warning the colonists to prepare for battle, giving them warning before the eventual battle of Lexington the next day. His ride is commemorated in a Longfellow poem. A little more information about Grant Wood, his style and his other great artworks.

    Wood was an active artist from an extremely young age until his death, and although he is best known for his paintings, he worked in a large number of mediums, including ink, charcoal, ceramics, metal, wood and found objects. Throughout his life he hired out his talents to many Iowa-based businesses as a steady source of income. These included painting advertisements, sketching rooms of a mortuary house for promotional flyers and, in one case, designing the corn-themed decor (including chandelier) for the dining room of a hotel.

    In addition, his 1928 trip to Munich was to oversee the making of the stained-glass windows he had designed for a Veterans Memorial Building in Cedar Rapids. Woods’ best known work is his 1930 painting American Gothic, one of the most familiar images in 20th century American Art. The painting was first exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago where it can still be found today. Today, the painting is often satirized in pop culture, though it remains one of the top examples of Regionalism and American art.

    Wood is considered the patron artist of Cedar Rapids, and one of his designs is depicted on the 2004 Iowa State Quarter. Although Grant Wood claimed to have painted only one satire, Daughters of Revolution, he seems virtually alone in that opinion (Corn, 100. ) Much of the discussion sparked by his most famous painting, American Gothic, revolved around the level of satiric intent, and Wood was henceforth typecast as a satirist, a label which ignored his vast artistic skills and interests (Corn, 101. Nevertheless, in perusing Wood’s painted works, it is difficult to argue that many of them are not satiric at most and gently ironic at the least.

    Wood observed his fellow Americans with what can only be described as an amused eye, and more than once sought to capture and slightly deflate that into which so much patriotic stock was put. Wood’s genius in these pictures of things most American–Daughters of Revolution, American Gothic, The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, The Birthplace of Herbert Hoover, and Parson Weems’ Fable? ‘–are his restraint and appreciation of the power of understatement.

    He treads carefully in these, not failing to bring an appropriate amount of American majesty and patriotism to the forefront, but always slightly undercutting the nationalism of the image with elements of ironic whimsey that complicate the meaning of the paintings. Wood also produced several paintings that, while hardly entirely serious were much more personal and devoid of a “national” character. Again, they seem to have been born of Wood’s ever observant and ever amused eye, but the treatment of his subjects in these–notably Adolescence and Victorian Survival–is more gentle, more affectionately ironic than popularly satirical.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    Metroploitan Art Essay (1193 words). (2018, Feb 27). Retrieved from

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