Plowing on Sunday
Grant Wood, American, Plowing on Sunday, 1933 or 1934, Conté crayon, ink, and gouache on brown paper; 45.7 x 43.5 cm (18 x 17 1/8 inches) (image), Gift of Mrs. Murray S. Danforth 38.015
Grant Wood is one of the most prominent artists associated with American Regionalist art. Wood was born, lived, and died in Iowa, and his works are stylized portrayals of its rural life. RISD’s drawing shows a farmer of the 1930s and was used as the book jacket for the 1934 edition of Sterling North’s novel, Plowing on Sunday. Wood’s close-up of the head and shoulders makes the subject seem monumental, in keeping with the presence of the story’s main character. Wood repeated the figure full-length in a mural for the Parks Library at Iowa State University. The mural, entitled Breaking the Prairie Sod (1935-1937), features a farmer of the 1840s, when Iowa became a state.