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 Nan <I>Wood</I> Graham

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Nan Wood Graham Famous memorial

Birth
Anamosa, Jones County, Iowa, USA
Death
14 Dec 1990 (aged 91)
Menlo Park, San Mateo County, California, USA
Burial
Anamosa, Jones County, Iowa, USA
Memorial ID
6087632 View Source

Folk Figure. The sister of artist Grant Wood, she was the model for the woman in his classic painting "American Gothic" (1930). Nan was born in Anamosa, Iowa, and married real estate investor Edward Graham. Always supportive of her brother's career, she had no qualms about posing for "Gothic" even though she knew ahead of time it would not be very flattering. Wood used considerable creative license in this double portrait of a old farmer and his unmarried daughter, elongating Nan's face and neck to emphasize her stern expression. After the painting became famous she received a note from one viewer who said that her face "would sour milk." To make it up to her Wood painted a formal portrait of Nan (1933) showing her as a chic-looking modern woman. Not that she harbored any resentment. "Grant made a personality out of me," she once said. "I would have had a very drab life without it." After Wood's death in 1942, Nan inherited his estate and devoted the rest of her life to maintaining and promoting his legacy. She wrote a posthumously published memoir, "My Brother, Grant Wood" (1993).

Folk Figure. The sister of artist Grant Wood, she was the model for the woman in his classic painting "American Gothic" (1930). Nan was born in Anamosa, Iowa, and married real estate investor Edward Graham. Always supportive of her brother's career, she had no qualms about posing for "Gothic" even though she knew ahead of time it would not be very flattering. Wood used considerable creative license in this double portrait of a old farmer and his unmarried daughter, elongating Nan's face and neck to emphasize her stern expression. After the painting became famous she received a note from one viewer who said that her face "would sour milk." To make it up to her Wood painted a formal portrait of Nan (1933) showing her as a chic-looking modern woman. Not that she harbored any resentment. "Grant made a personality out of me," she once said. "I would have had a very drab life without it." After Wood's death in 1942, Nan inherited his estate and devoted the rest of her life to maintaining and promoting his legacy. She wrote a posthumously published memoir, "My Brother, Grant Wood" (1993).

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Don Connelly
  • Added: 13 Jan 2002
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID: 6087632
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/6087632/nan-graham: accessed ), memorial page for Nan Wood Graham (26 Jul 1899–14 Dec 1990), Find a Grave Memorial ID 6087632, citing Riverside Cemetery, Anamosa, Jones County, Iowa, USA; Maintained by Find a Grave .