“I’m just back from seeing the Veterans
Memorial Commission,” Watts said
Tuesday. “I took them a piece that hasn’t
been touched and a completely restored
piece. They seemed very happy.
“It’s running $20,000 a year to insure it
for the $3 million value, and that policy
expires in July, so we’re going to have it
done by then. It will be in place for Cedar
Rapids’ July Fourth celebration.
“We’ll probably be on-site for close to a
month, because we’re installing interior
and exterior protective glazes. We’re
feeling pretty protective of it.”
“Every single piece is painted with some kind of design in it.”
Design artist and painter Erika Rogers said she isn’t sure how Wood managed some of
the design and detail work.
“Maybe he used a sponge and then a brush here,” she said, pointing out variations in the
designs of the glass. “He painted in some of the shading. Some of the glass is thick, and
some is paper-thin.
“That’s because it’s manmade — mouth-blown — and not made by a machine.”
As Glass Heritage workers take apart and replace each piece of glass, they do so under
a meticulous cataloging process. Each panel gets three rubbings, which is a pencil-on-
paper capture of the exact layout of each piece.
One rubbing will go back to the Veterans Memorial Commission as a historical record.
Another is stored with the piece it reflects, and a third is used as the framework for
each panel as it is cleaned, repaired and put back together.
Each panel is disassembled in a water tank, which protects the workers from the layers
of lead that hold the glass pieces in place.
The $3 million piece of stained glass,
created by artist Grant Wood, took an
even harder hit than first imagined.
At 83 years old and 25 feet high, the
window endured considerable damage
after sitting in floodwaters in 2008 at its
home in the Veterans Memorial
Building/City Hall in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
The window depicts life-size soldiers from
various wars and an angel welcoming
Restoration of a 24-foot by 20-foot
stained glass window by famed artist
Grant Wood in the Cedar Rapids Veterans
Memorial Building is nearing completion,
and Mike Jager, director of group that
owns the building, has come up with a
unique way to publicize the event.
Jager says a political spat between Wood
and The Daughters of American
Revolution kept the window from
receiving a public unveiling in 1929 when
it was installed. He plans to rectify that
this summer by giving the window the
type of public unveiling it never got while
Wood was alive.
Wood was commissioned to create the
window during the 1920s as a tribute to
soldiers who had served in all the wars up
Grant Wood’s home and studio was
located at 5 Turner Alley from 1924 to
Near downtown Cedar Rapids the studio
is owned and operated by the Cedar
Rapids Museum of Art, which houses the
world’s largest collection of works by
Grant Wood. His most famous painting,
American Gothic, was painted in this
studio in 1930.
The Grant Wood Studio is a member of
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|Hopefully this week's quiz will be
interesting for everyone. Your question
about the model (and I didn't know the
answer immediately) led me to wonder
whether Grant Wood and his sister Nan
are buried here in eastern Iowa. I went
online and determined, yes, they are both
buried in Anamosa. I went for a short
drive to visit the Riverside cemetery at
Anamosa. A large sleeping lion overlooks
the Wood family graves, which includes
Grant and Nan.
|If you enjoy our quizzes, don't forget to order our books!
|Answer to Quiz #317
August 7, 2011
1. Grant Wood
2. His sister, Nan Grant Wood, who was also his model for the woman
in his famous work American Gothic
(See also Quiz #41.)
3. It was damaged by a flood and restored.
Bonus: The workers at the local Quaker Oats plant.
|This week's quiz photo was submitted by Quizmaster Evan Hindman.
1. Who created this stained gass window?
2. Who modeled for the central figure?
3. What happened to the window in 2008?
Bonus: Who modeled for the row of people across the bottom?
|TinEye Alert! You can find this using TinEye
but it will be a lot more fun if you solve the puzzle on your own.
|Congratulations to Our Winners!
Janice Sellers Tish Olshefski
Nicole Blank Debbie Sterbinsky
Margaret L. Paxton Arthur Hartwell
Alex Sissoev Alison Stephens
Betty Chambers Teresa Yu
Sally Garrison Mike Dalton
Donna Jolley Joyce Veness
Elaine C. Hebert Katie Petrachonis
Justin Campoli Stan Read
Mary Fraser Sherry Marshall
Karen Petrus Sheri Fenley
Robin Spence Gary Sterne
Valerie J. Thompson Marjorie Wilser
Shirley Hamblin Bill Hurley
Marilyn Hamill Jim Kiser
Jim Bullock Angel Esparza
Adrienne Walker Joshua Kreitzer
Judy Pfaff Lianne Kruger
Barbara Mroz Don Draper
Robert W. Steinmann Jr. Miene Rawlinson
|Comments from Our Winners
|I loved this quiz. It took me quite a while to find it and imagine my surprise to discover
the artist was Grant Wood and the person who was the model for the woman in the
window also modeled for the woman in his painting American Gothic. Wood�s sister,
Nan, couldn't look more different in the two pieces.
NB - One of my first searches for the window was 'stained glass window peace'.
It didn't show up with those parameters and I just noticed the name of the window is
'Lady of Peace'. I wonder why it my first choice of words didn't work.
This was a fun one! I was an art major in college. Never heard of this.
Good Lawd, Geee!.. I work with a bunch of folks in Cedar Rapids, I should have
known this... Alex Sissoev
This was a fun one to look up. Using "us soldiers stained glass" as search words in
Google led me to a detail photo of the soldiers. This window really has an interesting
history. It is a shame the work did not get a grand unveiling during Wood's lifetime, but
it was nice to hear that the director of the Cedar Rapids Veterans Memorial held one
after the window was repaired. Sally Garrison
I spent a bit of time looking for military chapels; but then went to basics of search
words. Starting from: stained-glass angel (wings) soldiers (six different ones) wreath
(angel holding one). The words stained-glass angel veterans memorial laurel wreath got
me on to contest photo on cedar rapids.org website. Mike Dalton
Did this the hard way -- no tineye -- surfed the web for an hour for "stained glass
window american military memorial" in different combinations 'til I stumbled on a
cutout of the soldiers on the bottom -- bingo! Got to look at a lot of neat windows...
Fairly easy to find with google. Jim Kiser
Googling "stained glass" and "American Revolution" brought up tinyurl.com/3tcv8yy
which gave some of the information about the window. Another Google search of grant
wood model for lady of mourning gave tinyurl.com/3vtovo7 thegazette.
com/tag/stained-glass-window/ mentions the models for the soldiers.
The search I used was: "stained glass" "six soldiers". The seventh Google hit was http:
//thegazette.com/tag/stained-glass-window/ which answered most of the questions in
this contest. Joshua Kreitzer
Good One! Really learned alot on this one.
Who modeled for the row of people across the bottom?
I don't know, but interestingly in 'Grant Wood: A Life by R. Tripp Evans' (Chapter
'Paint Like A Man'-pp.66-67) [Google Books-See Below], Evans gets into the whole
'woman-as-allegory-a chaste arrangement that establishes the work's homosocial, if not
explicitly homoerotic context...." thing especially with regard to figure number 2 of the
barechested cannoneer. In the original sketch for this figure, he states that the soldier
looks "less like a Federal-era infantryman than a sort of Americanized Saint Sebastian".
There is a photo of the original sketch [p.67] and it is interesting to compare it to the
final stained glass image, which was changed, which is no surprise, given the period! It
is generally accepted that the model for the cannoneer figure was most likely Wood's
assistant, Arnold Pyle. Robert W. Steinmann Jr.
|How Arthur Solved the Puzzle
|I searched Google images for stained glass window, war memorial,
etc. no luck. Finally used Tineye that sent me to
wapellocounty.org/americangothic/educate/eldon.htm. It showed
some of Grant Wood's paintings, but no window. When I tried
modifying the url, Wapello County would not let me access them. I
tried a couple days later but Googled "educate/eldon.htm." I got Grant
Wood's gallery. I finally got the hint, and Googgled "grant wood
stained glass window". That put me in the Eastern Iowa News
Now.com site where they discussed the window and its re-dedication.
|Note from Evan Hindman
Submitted of this week's photo
Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios, a program of the National Trust for Historic
|Grant Wood’s veterans’ window to be honored
Des Moines Register
Apr 26, 2010 | by David Elbert
until then. Soldiers from the Revolutionary War through World War I are depicted in
the window’s 58 individual panes.
The model for the dominate “Lady of Peace” figure in the window was Wood’s sister,
Nan Wood, who was also his model for the woman in his iconic American Gothic
painting several years later, Jager said.
Quaker Oats workers in Cedar Rapids modeled for the faces of soldiers in Grant
Wood's stained glass window in the Cedar Rapids Veterans Memorial Building.
Wood sketched his plan for the window on butcher’s paper in the break room of the
nearby Quaker Oats plant, because it was the only space big enough, Jager said. The
faces of the soldiers in the window belong to Quaker Oats workers, he added.
Controversy arose when Wood selected a German company to make the window,
Jager said. Germany had been the enemy in World War I, which was still fresh in many
minds and the DAR accused Wood of being unpatriotic.
Pressure from the women’s group kept the Cedar Rapids Veterans Commission from
holding a public unveiling, despite repeated pleas from Wood, Jager said.
The artist charged only $9,000 for the stained-glass work of art, which is today valued
at $3 million, Jager said.
The 2008 flood covered the main floor of the Veterans building and rose to within six
inches of the window. Although floodwaters never touched the window, the moisture
damaged the framework, which expanded and contracted, causing cracks in some of
the stained glass.
Glass Heritage of Davenport was hired last year for $300,000 to repair the damage.
Owner John Watts said his crews carefully removed the window last July year and
shipped it to Davenport where each of the 58 panels are put in a bath of water and
“It’s taken apart while it’s in the bath and each of
the 9,000 individual pieces of glass are cleaned and
put back on a rubbing so we can reassemble it,”
In mid-May, he said, the reinstallation will begin.
“The window itself will go in slightly after the first
of June,” he said.
“We’re shooting for the third week in June” as a
completion date, Watts said.
No date has been set for the unveiling and
dedication, but it will be during Cedar Rapids’
annual Freedom Festival, which runs from June 13
to July 4, Jager said.
|Workers meticulously restoring Grant Wood stained glass
Quad Cities Times
April 15, 2010, by Barb Ickes
The piece originally was commissioned by the Veterans Memorial Commission of Cedar
Rapids, which is where Wood grew up. It is the only known piece of stained glass
created by the artist who is most famous for his painting, “American Gothic.”
Glass Heritage, 234 W. 3rd St., Davenport, was awarded a bid of about $150,000 last
year to repair and restore all 58 panels of glass within it. The panels were thought to
contain between 7,000 and 8,000 pieces of glass, which were thought to have sustained
about 100 cracks.
“It’s just shy of 9,000 pieces, actually,” Glass Heritage co-owner John Watts said.
“Every single piece comes out and goes back in, one piece at a time. And we found,
easily, 150 cracks.”
Jimi Lee, the shop manager at the downtown business, said the trick to making all those
repairs is being extremely careful.
“You have to understand that every piece is irreplaceable,” he said. “A very talented
artist could try to replace it, but it wouldn’t work. You’re never going to match it.
Doing it right is the most important thing.”
The process began for Glass Heritage last summer when workers spent 10 days
removing the window from its longtime perch. Watts said one to three people are
working on it at any given time, and he has promised the Veterans Memorial
Commission it will be back in place by the third week in June.
removing the window from its longtime perch.
Watts said one to three people are working on
it at any given time, and he has promised the
Veterans Memorial Commission it will be back
in place by the third week in June.
Meanwhile, Wood’s artistic style is revealing
itself to the people who are lovingly restoring
“When Wood was in the military, he was a
camouflage artist, designing uniforms and
covers for tanks and things,” Watts said. “His
work was very organic, and we’ve noticed
stamped oak leaves in some of the pieces.
Grant DeVolson Wood (February 13,
1891 – February 12, 1942) was an
American painter, born four miles east
of Anamosa, Iowa. He is best known
for his paintings depicting the rural
American Midwest, particularly the
painting American Gothic, an iconic
image of the 20th century.
Life and Carreer
His family moved to Cedar Rapids after
his father died in 1901. Soon thereafter
he began as an apprentice in a local
metal shop. After graduating from
Washington High School, Wood
enrolled in an art school in Minneapolis
in 1910, and returned a year later to
teach in a one-room schoolhouse. In
1913 he enrolled at the School of the
Art Institute of Chicago and did some
work as a silversmith.
From 1920 to 1928 he made four trips
to Europe, where he studied many
styles of painting, especially
impressionism and post-impressionism.
But it was the work of the fifteenth-
century Flemish artist Jan Van Eyck
that influenced him to take on the
clarity of this new technique and to
incorporate it in his new works. From
1924 to 1935 Wood lived in the loft of
a carriage house that he turned into his
personal studio at "5 Turner Alley" (the
studio had no address until Wood made
one up himself). In 1932, Wood helped
found the Stone City Art Colony near
his hometown to help artists get
through the Great Depression. He
became a great proponent of
regionalism in the arts, lecturing
throughout the country on the topic.
Wood taught painting at the University
of Iowa's School of Art from 1934 to
1941. During that time, he supervised
mural painting projects, mentored
students, produced a variety of his
own works, and became a key part of
the University's cultural community. A
closeted homosexual, he was fired
because of a relationship with his
personal secretary. On February 12,
1942, one day before his 51st birthday,
Wood died at the university hospital of
When Wood died, his estate went to
his sister, Nan Wood Graham, the
woman portrayed in American Gothic.
When she died in 1990, her estate,
along with Wood's personal effects
and various works of art, became the
property of the Figge Art Museum in
Wood's best known work is his 1930
painting American Gothic, which is
also one of the most famous paintings
in American art, and one of the few
images to reach the status of
universally recognised cultural icon,
comparable to Leonardo da Vinci's
Mona Lisa and Edvard Munch's The
It was first exhibited in 1930 at the Art
Institute of Chicago, where it is still
located. It was given a $300 prize and
made news stories country-wide,
bringing Wood immediate recognition.
Since then, it has been borrowed and
satirised endlessly for advertisements
Art critics who had favorable opinions
about the painting, such as Gertrude
Stein and Christopher Morley, assumed
the painting was meant to be a satire of
repression and narrow-mindedness of
rural small-town life. It was seen as
part of the trend toward an
increasingly critical depictions of rural
America, along the lines of Sherwood
Anderson's 1919 Winesburg, Ohio,
Sinclair Lewis' 1920 Main Street, and
Carl Van Vechten's The Tattooed
Countess in literature. Wood rejected
this reading of it. With the onset of the
Great Depression, it came to be seen
as a depiction of steadfast American
pioneer spirit. Another reading is that it
is an ambiguous fusion of reverence
Wood's inspiration came from Eldon,
southern Iowa, where a cottage
designed in the Gothic Revival style
with an upper window in the shape of
a medieval pointed arch, provided the
background and also the painting's title.
Wood decided to paint the house along
with "the kind of people I fancied
should live in that house." The painting
shows a farmer standing beside his
spinster daughter, figures modeled by
the artist's dentist and sister, Nan
(1900–1990). The dentist, Dr. Byron
McKeeby (1867–1950) was from
Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The woman is
dressed in a colonial print apron
mimicking 19th century Americana and
the couple are in the traditional roles of
men and women, the man's pitchfork
symbolizing hard labor.
The compositional severity and detailed
technique derive from Northern
Renaissance paintings, which Grant
had looked at during three visits to
Europe; after this he became
increasingly aware of the Midwest's
own legacy, which also informs the
work. It is a key image of Regionalism.
|Midnight Ride of
|Who are these people?
Why are they seen so frequenty
together in public?