Incorporating copious archival research and original close readings of American artist Grant Wood’s iconic as well as lesser-known works, Grant Wood’s Secrets reveals how his sometimes anguished psychology was shaped by his close relationship with his mother and how he channeled his lifelong oedipal guilt into his art. Presenting Wood’s abortive autobiography “Return from Bohemia” for the first time ever, Sue Taylor integrates the artist’s own recollections into interpretations of his art. As Wood dressed in overalls and boasted about his beloved Midwest, he consciously engaged in regionalist strategies, performing a farmer masquerade of sorts. In doing so, he also posed as conventionally masculine, hiding his homosexuality from his rural community. Thus, he came to experience himself as a double man. This book conveys the very real threats under which Wood lived and pays tribute to his resourceful responses, which were often duplicitous and have baffled art historians who typically take them at face value.
Published by University of Delaware Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.