What is America’s most famous painting? Most folks would answer “America Gothic” or they would at least say something about an old guy standing in front of a house with his pitchfork….. and they would be correct, considering it is certainly the most copied and parodied.
Did you know that Grant Wood’s masterpiece was created in his apartment/studio in Cedar Rapids, Iowa? The space is open to visitors each weekend from spring to fall AND IT’S FREE!!!
Address: 810 2nd Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403 Exact Google map location
In 1923, the Turner family purchased the Douglas Mansion. They hired a local artist name Grant Wood to help them with the design.
As you walk up the steps to the second floor studio, the first thing you’ll notice is design of door. It’s fashioned out of a coffin lid, which is pretty funny considering this was a funeral home. The glass section contained a pinwheel that allowed Grant to identify if was out of town, having a party, or taking a bath. This is a replica of the door, as the original door is on exhibit at the Cedar Rapids Art Musuem, which houses the world’s largest collection of Grant Wood works.
This nook served as Grant Wood’s dining room.
The kitchen was extremely narrow and the area to the back right in the photo was referred to as the “hot dog stand” which had an open space leading towards the dining room nook.
Where the bathtub is now used to be the hayloft shute, where they dropped hay down below for the horses. Grant Wood added a sunken bathtub into this space.
I was surprised to learn that his studio/living space was still being rented out as an apartment up till about the year 2000.