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Creation of an Artist

Barbara Feller | $16.95 | Paperback | 80p | 9781948509183 | US History | Art History | Regionalism | Midwest: Iowa | Release 10/20 | Preorder

Creation of an Artist: Grant Wood’s Boyhood Story is a fascinating look into the life of well known artist Grant Wood. This insightful book is almost entirely based on Grant Wood’s own words and art. Early events were dictated to his secretary, Park Rinard, in an incomplete and therefore unpublished autobiography, Return from Bohemia. Other details were mentioned in letters Wood wrote as a ten-year-old boy, just after moving to Cedar Rapids from rural Iowa. Author Barbara Feller was the lead educator at Grant Wood’s Studio at Five Turner Alley in Cedar Rapids. Her previous book, The Road to Waubeek, focused on area artist and author Jay Sigmund.

Praise for The Creation of an Artist

“The Creation of an Artist: Grant Wood’s Boyhood Story is a delightful short biography of Iowa’s most famous artist. Directed at younger readers, the book will also be informative for all ages.”—Joni Kinsey, PhD, author, “Cultivating Iowa: An Introduction to Grant Wood,” in Grant Wood’s Studio: Birthplace of American Gothic, edited by Jane Milosch, 2005

“Barbara Feller’s warm and charming account of the first decade of artist Grant Wood’s life in The Creation of an Artist was a joy to read. Thoroughly researched, the author takes the reader back to Wood’s boyhood home near Anamosa, Iowa, using the sounds, symbols and language of this rural heritage. She also provides hints of the artist Wood is destined to become, exploring both his dreams and fears as he enters a new way of life in the much larger city of Cedar Rapids. The book is easy reading for all ages and a wonderful way to discover more about the formative years of Iowa’s favorite artist.”—Paul C. Juhl, author, Grant Wood’s Clear Lake Summer; Grant Wood: Abandoned Plans; and Grant Wood and Iowa State Fair

“Barbara Feller’s The Creation of an Artist artfully weaves together primary sources and engaging prose to illuminate the all-important early years of Grant Wood’s life. If, as Wood himself once claimed, ‘we’re conditioned in the first twelve years of our lives,’ then this exploration of the artist’s childhood provides a valuable context for his often enigmatic work.”—R. Tripp Evans, Professor, History of Art Co-Chair, Department of Visual Art and History of Art Wheaton College, Norton, MA
“The Creation of an Artist: Grant Wood’s Boyhood Story paints an evocative picture of time and place in Iowa at the turn of the twentieth century. Feller’s well-researched and engagingly told book is a sweet, thoughtful examination of the early years of Iowa’s preeminent artist.”—Katherine Kunau, Associate Curator of Collections and Exhibitions Cedar Rapids Museum of Art

“The Creation of an Artist captures the innocence and spirit of a ten-year old Grant Wood who is discovering his talent for becoming an artist. Barbara Feller’s literary descriptions of Iowa, and its landscapes, at the onset of the 20th century, weave an inspiring story of family, heart and home. It made me want to go back home to Iowa, even if it’s just for a day.”—Dorothy Bunting Montgomery, author, Stone Fruit

“Discovering Grant Wood’s early days gives us an insight on what was to follow.”—Bill Thomas, a long-time local historian, volunteer guide, and Grant Wood’s paper boy