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Grant Wood (1891-1942)
The Cornfield
signed and dated 'Grant Wood/1927' (lower right)
oil on board
13 x 15 in. (33 x 38.1 cm.)
M. Knoedler and Co., New York.
Private collection.
Gift to Hester Smith Larner from the above on the occasion of her wedding, 1928, Iowa.
By descent to the present owner.

Lot Essay

In 1926, Grant Wood was commissioned by Eugene Eppley to paint murals to adorn his hotels throughout Iowa. "Wood decorated the restaurants of these hotels--the 'Corn Rooms,' they were called--with a midwestern landscape theme he would repeat in his regionalist style in later years: a panorama of harvested cornfields stretching deep into space, dotted with corn shocks and an occasional barn, windmill, and farmhouse. The paintings were done in Wood's loose, brushy style, in light blond colors on eight-foot-high canvases affixed to the walls." (W.M. Corn, Grant Wood: The Regionalist Vision, New Haven, Connecticut, 1983, p. 26) The present work directly relates to a series of works Wood created the late 1920s and serves as an important precursor to a subject that would define the artist's career.

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