Grant Wood’s sketchbook containing images related to a 24-foot stained glass window in Cedar Rapids will be auctioned May 12 at Leslie Hindman in Chicago.
The 24-foot tall window in the Veterans Memorial Building in Grant Wood’s hometown was the largest in the United States in 1929. It features a central figure of a Lady in Mourning, modeled after the artist’s sister and sitter for the iconic painting, American Gothic, Nan Wood. The figure is flanked by life-size soldiers from the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish American War and the First World War. It is the only known stained-glass window designed by Wood.
The 48-page sketchbook embellished with over 70 preparatory drawings and studies for the window has signed the cover of the small journal and an inscription from the artist’s sister, signed and dated May 1, 1946, confirms: “This book was the property of Grant Wood. It contains sketches and ideas for the stained glass memorial window he designed for the memorial building in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The sketches were made in 1929.”
There are no known sketchbooks attributed to Wood in institutional or private collections, and the auction house is confident it will exceed its $40,000-60,000 presale estimate.