Artist in Overalls: The Life of Grant Wood

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9780811812429: Artist in Overalls: The Life of Grant Wood

The renowned painting American Gothic is famous around the world, but what do we know about the artist? This lively biography follows Grant Wood as he develops from a shy farm boy into a celebrated artist.
This is the first published biography of this American artist specifically geared to young readers. It is complete with an instructional afterword to help young artists learn to draw and a listing of museums where Grant Wood's work can be seen.

Awards and honors for Artist in Overalls:
Children's Crown List
Kirkus Reviews, pointer
Parents Council, Seal of Approval

"Sinopsis" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

About the Author:

John Duggleby was born and raised in the rolling hills of lowa where Grant Wood lived and painted, and he studied journalism at the University of lowa, where Grant Wood taught. John lives with his four year-old daughter, Katie, in McFarland, Wisconsin. This is his fifth book for children.

Review:

--KIRKUS REVIEWS, Pointer, March 1996
The painting American Gothic has become so ubiquitous that children may associate it with cartoons or cereal boxes without realizing its artistic origins. This biography of the painting's creator, Grant Wood, introduces readers to a shy artist who worked in the style now called Regionalism to represent his midwestern surroundings.

Wood's dreamy nature didn't always fit with the rigors of Iowa farm life into which he was born. Duggleby includes many anecdotes from Wood's childhood, to help readers understand thc boy's struggle to become an artist. The biography is supplemented with plenty of large black-and-white and full-color reproductions of his art, which serve as illustrations for Wood's life story. Photos are used, too: A particularly interesting one is of the two models for Wood's most famous painting. The only oddity in this volume is a tacked on ending: three pages of instructions for drawing chickens. Bland art instructions read like filler in an otherwise eloquent volume. (Biography. 8-12)

--SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, May 1996
The most famous American painting may be Wood's American Gothic, with its weathered, pitchfork-holding farmer and an aproned wife. Readers meet the mid-Western farm boy who studied art in France and Germany, but always returned to America's heartland. His style was clean and photographically precise his landscapes "...real--and not quite real--at the same time." Critics called his style "Regionalism" and began to notice and celebrate American painters. Duggleby's title is fittingly large and square, with cover and endpapers decorated with cows, chickens, and farm implements. Wood's painting's are beautifully reproduced, most in full color, and the wide margins, decorated chapter headings, and clear typeface make the book a pleasure to read. The author write's with great skill telling Wood's story not simply with dates and places, but with anecdotes, descriptions, and snatches of conversation. He brings the artist to life--his shyness and stubborness, his dreams and disappointments, his way of winning friends and his determination to paint in his own way. He makes Wood out to be a person worth knowing and knowing about. Few books, if any, are available on the subject. This gem of a book is marred only by a lack of documentation.

--BOSTON BOOK REVIEW, September 1996
Artist in Overalls, a biography of the great American artist Grant Wood, is about integrity and perseverance. Wood was born on a farm in Iowa; his childhood, while poor in the economic sense, was rich in rolling fields, beautiful woods, and those "amber waves of grain"--a phase that fits Wood's paintings exactly. Wood began to draw at an early age. Lacking materials, he took charrred pieces of wood from the kitchen stove and drew on the clean white insides of cracker boxes. He drew everything he knew--the wavy fields, chickens, streams, whatever he saw. After his father died, and his family moved to town, Wood often traveled miles in the evening to take art courses. In early adulthood, he once simply showed up in an art class at the University of Iowa and, since no one inquired as to his right to be there he stayed. In addition to poverty, Wood had to withstand criticism from friends and family for not looking for "honest work." He was eventually hired to teach art by a school principal. Although aware that his was an unconventional teaching style, she realized that Wood was imparting something immeasuraable to his student. During a subsequent trip to Paris, he was exposed to Impressionism, which, however, failed to sway him. Visiting a museum he experienced an epiphany of sorts, realizing that the clean lines of Gothic art were what he was seeking. Out of this relization came two paintings--Woman with Plants and American Gothic--which established his international reputation. Artist in Overalls is not a book for young readers (the text is lengthy) but it is beautifully illustrated with Woods' works and is a wonderfuul introduction to the preteen artistically inclined child.

--THE HORN BOOK MAGAZINE, July 1996
Illustrated with reproductions in color. Given the popularity of Grant Wood's American Gothic, it is surprising that no book for children is available on the life of the great Regionalist painter. Now a fellow Iowan has remedied the situation with a handsome, easy-to-read biography that places Wood's life against the background of the aftermath of the Industrial Revolution and its influences on American culture. Beginning with Wood's boyhood, the book describes his early interest in drawing, his education, and his attempts to earn a living in such diverse areas as jewelry making and teaching. Duggleby conveys quite well Wood's struggle to find a unique style at a time when the impressionists dominated the world of art, and the intense observation of his environment that enabled him to capture the essence of the United States heartland. Particularly worthwhile is the analysis of influences on his development, notably that of the Renaissance painters whose precision and attention to detail accorded well with his own inclinations. Realism tempered by memory, his work eventually made him an art world celebrity, "an American artist who painted American subjects is an original, American way." Duggleby captures this sense of Wood's roots, which the book's lavish use of color reproductions and decorative sketches ably supports. An afterword offering advice on "Drawing and Painting like Grant Wood" is for a younger audience than the main text implies; the lack of any notes or bibliography is a serious omission. The list of locations for the paintings reproduced in the book is, however, a valuable supplement.

--PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, April 1, 1996
A Midwestern plainspokenness shapes this account of the native sons life and work, told here as a sort of farm-bred fairy tale of early hardship and eventual triumph. Wood's monetarily poor but visually rich childhood and determined pursuit of his own artistic vision are described in an unsentimental but lively manner, the scope and tone well suited to the target audience. With its stately layout, handsome full-page color reproductions, monochrome line art, vintage photographs and quick demonstration of the artist's hen-drawing technique, the book itself is inviting. A few inconsistencies--paintings reproduced but not mentioned in the text and others referred to but not shown--and the lack of bibliography are unfortunate oversights, and the absence of detailed captions may cause confusion as readers will not immediately recognize all the illustrations as Wood's works. The treatment of Wood's contacts with the abstract style and impressionism, meanwhile, seems almost xenophobic (a teacher explains impressionism by holding one of Grant's watercolors under a running faucet). Still, Duggleby's homage to his fellow Iowan is a quietly, inspiring portrait of the hard work, perseverance and down-home quirkiness of a major artist, and a clear exposition of his place in American culture. Ages 8-12.

--BULLETIN OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S BOOKS, June 1996
Grant Wood's American Gothic is probably the best-known American painting ever, but here's a Wood biography that brings into focus more than just the famous farm couple. Duggleby traces Wood's life from his upbringing on an Iowa farm to his brief travels for education to Minneapolis, Chicago, and Paris, and finally to his return to Iowa and his increasing fame. There are no source notes, and the style here is fictional, but there's a clear picture of the awkward man whose passion for his art, his country, and his people translated into the art movement of Regionalism. Often more articulate than the text are the many reproductions of undeservedly lesser-known Wood paintings, such as the eerily lit Midnight Ride of Paul Revere or the rich velvety countryside of Spring Turning, which bear fresh witness to the artist's talent. It's slightly frustrating to have to turn to the appendix (which lists the locations of the works included) for dates on the paintings, and the brief section "Drawing and Painting like Grant Wood" is wildly oversimplified and out of place here. Wood is an artist, however, who has much to offer beyond his one unavoidable painting, and this will give young artists a better idea of his contributions.

"Sobre este título" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

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