The Carriage Business by Grant Wood is an illustrated account of this prosperous time in American history. It provides an intricate view of the many facets of life in America during this era including transportation and fashion trends, the music scene, and social mores.
Setting of the artwork
The Carriage Business was completed in 1930 and was the final piece Grant Wood painted before he died in 1942. The painting is set in a snow-covered rural American town with a horse-drawn carriage traveling down a street. The painting has been described as being an "idyllic" depiction of the Midwest.
Style and Technique of the artwork
The style of the artwork reflects the time period it was created in. The images have a distinct quality that is reminiscent of old-fashioned photographs. Wood's use of color adds to this nostalgic feel, making the reader feel as if they are looking through old photographs.
As Wood tells his story and paints his scenes, he utilizes different techniques. His illustrations are often sparse with few lines and heavy in texture which gives them a rough and earthy feel despite their bright colors. He also uses very loose strokes to create details in his art, such as when he is drawing fur on an animal or wrinkles on a shirt sleeve. It is evident that Wood had many years of experience in illustration due to the detail put into the picture without it appearing cluttered or giving the page an overwhelming appearance.
Medium of the artwork
The artwork is in a comic book-style format. This medium is not only visually appealing, but it also makes the story more accessible and easier to understand. The illustrations are detailed, realistic, and captivating.
Grant Wood Influences and Inspirations
Grant Wood is an American artist best known for his painting, American Gothic. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and taught at the University of Iowa. His work is often seen as a symbol for Midwestern values that were prominent in society during this period.
His inspiration for The Carriage Business came from a sketch he drew in 1939. It originally depicted a man waiting for his wife to pick out a hat at a millinery store. This illustration became the frontispiece for his book The Carriage Business which was published in 1942.