A native of Iowa, Grant Wood was one of the three most famous American Regionalist artists of the 1930s, along with Thomas Hart Benton and John Steuart Curry (no, that’s not a typo in Curry’s middle name). In the Spring conveys a positive image of the American farmer at a time when the ravages of the Depression and the dust bowl dominated most people’s conceptions of Midwest rural life. Associated American Artists distributed prints of In the Spring. The company formed in 1934 to market fine art prints by well-known artists who depicted scenes of American life. Prints sold at department stores and through mail order for five dollars each.
Associate curator Cindy Buckner tells us what she likes most about In the Spring:
I like how Wood has drawn his farmer towering over the landscape—cheerfully setting boundaries on his land through hand-dug fenceposts. It makes me think of the saying “good fences make good neighbors.”
[Grant Wood, In the Spring, 1939, lithograph on paper, published by Associate American Artists, 8⅞ × 11⅞ inches. Gift of Dr. Herbert S. Johnson, 1995.13.61.]