2016 Grant Wood Symposium

“Myth, Memories, and the Midwest: Grant Wood and Beyond”

The Grant Wood Art Colony presents the 5th biennial symposium, “Myth, Memories, and the Midwest: Grant Wood and Beyond.” In honor of Grant Wood’s 125th birthday, the Colony and its National Advisory Board has planned a robust and engaging event.

On May 7, 2009, the first Grant Wood Symposium was held under tents on my lawn at 1142 East Court Street in Iowa City--Grant Wood's former home. University of Iowa President Sally Mason spoke, as well as Jane Milosch and Veronica Conkling from the Smithsonian and Joni Kinsey  from the University of Iowa School of Art and Art History. That symposium was the catalyst for successive symposia and for the formulation of the Grant Wood Art Colony and Grant Wood outreach efforts. On October 29, 2016, we are proud to present our 5th Grant Wood Symposium with an amazing array of scholars and authors. We welcome you and thank you for attending.
-Jim Hayes, Chair, Grant Wood National Advisory Board

Registration is free and open to the public. Please register by clicking here.


Art Building West on the University of Iowa Campus.
141 North Riverside Drive, Iowa City, Iowa 52246

Free parking is available behind Art Building West and in Lot 55 near the Theatre Building.


Click on each title below for an abstract and to learn more about each speaker.

Friday, October 28

7:30 p.m.: Keynote Address: Screwball Regionalism: Grant Wood and Humor During the Great Depression
                 Erika Doss, University of Notre Dame

Saturday, October 29

9:00 a.m.: Welcome

9:20 a.m.: Grant Wood and the After-Life of Victorian Architecture
                  Kerry Dean Carso, State University of New York at New Paltz

10:00 a.m.: On Common Ground: Grant Wood and the photography of the Farm Security Administration
                 James Swensen, Brigham Young University

10:40 a.m.: "Something of color and imagination": Grant Wood, Storytelling, and the Past's Appeal in Depression-Era America
                 Annelise K. Madsen, Art Institute of Chicago

11:20 a.m.: Q&A led by Wanda Corn

12:00-1:30 p.m.: Break

1:30 p.m.: Grant Wood’s Regionalist Camouflage
                 Jason Weems, University of California, Riverside

2:10 p.m.: In Springtime: Myth and Memory in Grant Wood's Last Paintings
                 Sue Taylor, Portland State University

2:50 p.m.: Q&A led by Joni Kinsey

Check back for updates and more information.

Join us for a special viewing of the documentary 1142 at The Englert Theatre Saturday evening at 5:30 p.m. Doors open and reception begins at 4:30 p.m. More information can be found on our website.

Support for the Grant Wood Symposium provided by the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

NEA Logo    IAC Logo

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please call the Office of Outreach & Engagement in advance at 319-335-0684.