Seldom has an artist been so associated with just one work as Grant Wood, the painter of ‘American Gothic’. This eerie but tender, incredibly rich portrayal of an Iowan farmer and his daughter, posed for by the artist’s sister and his dentist has captivated viewers since 1930. Is he mocking these strait-laced folk, or celebrating them? and what’s he saying about life in rural America? Wood was no great fan of cities and he spent almost his whole life in the mid-west. The land and its people, the politics and personalities of small-town life, were his most enduring subjects, but he was no mere provincial. Grant Wood did study and travel in Europe and in his compositions and painstaking attention to detail, we can see the influence of Northern Renaissance painters, such as Van Eyck and Dürer. Wood coupled this deep and sensitive understanding of art history with a desire to make art that spoke to and of the America that he lived in.