January 19, 2024

The Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust has awarded a grant to the Grant Wood Art Colony to support The Grant Wood Catalogue Raisonné Project. The catalogue raisonné will be a comprehensive, searchable resource about Wood’s works of art, their materials, and their histories. It will be a cloud-based digital site that can be accessed around the world and readily updated with new information. In addition to being the definitive source for facts about Wood’s art, the database and public-facing, searchable website will also be a repository for scholarship and creative work about, or inspired by, Wood: articles, videos, digital visualizations, and creative projects. No such catalogue currently exists for Wood, hindering scholarship and recognition of one of Iowa’s most important artists.

“The university is the perfect home for the catalogue raisonné,” according to Director Maura Pilcher. “We plan to work with the University Libraries, the School of Art and Art History, and the Stanley Museum, among other campus partners.”

John Culshaw, Jack B. King University Librarian, added, “The UI Libraries have embraced the creation of the Grant Wood Catalogue Raisonné since the idea first surfaced several years ago. It brings together key elements of the Libraries’ work: state-of-the-art cataloguing, archival research and preservation, and digital scholarship and publication.

The project has also garnered support from area museums who hold collections of Wood’s works, including, the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, the Dubuque Museum of Art, and the Figge Art Museum.

Wanda Corn Headshot

This project originated within the Grant Wood Art Colony’s National Board of Advisors, of which, esteemed researcher Wanda Corn is a part. “Too many times I’ve been asked questions about Grant Wood that I cannot answer and wished I had a catalogue raisonné of his work to consult,” she explains. “Wood has inspired art historical and literary essays, including my own, but not deep and sustained cataloguing of his multi-disciplinary work. There is no single authoritative volume about Grant Wood’s entire oeuvre.

The grant from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust will help to realize the creation of this essential resource on Grant Wood. The grant in the amount $296,743 over the course of three years will support the initial stages of the project and cover approximately one third of the projected total cost. The Colony will use the grant to pay an experienced project manager, graduate research assistant, undergraduate intern, and cover software costs. Additional support will come from the Grant Wood Art Colony, grant writing, private philanthropy, as well as other departments at the University.