Americans in Paris: Grant Wood and Marvin Cone's 1920 Trip to Paris

72_12_23_Wood_FountainofVoltaire.jpg
Grant Wood, Fountain of Voltaire, Ch√Ętenay, 1920, oil on composition board, 13 x 15 inches, gift of Harriet Y. and John B. Turner II, 72.12.23.
Marvin_Cone_Around the Pool Luxembourg Gardens.jpg
Marvin Cone, Around the Pool, Luxembourg Gardens, 1920, oil on composition board, 17 x 19 inches, museum purchase, Dorothy Houts Fund with gift of Winnifred Cone and the Marvin Cone Trust, 86.1.12.
Grant Wood St Etienne du Mont.jpg
Grant Wood, St. Etienne du Mont (Church of St. Genevieve), 1920, 1920, oil on composition board, 13 x 15 inches, gift of Harriet Y. and John B. Turner II, 72.12.9
Marvin Cone_Reflections Corots Pond.jpg
Marvin Cone, Reflections, Corot's Pond, 1920, oil on composition board, 13 x 15 inches, museum purchase, Dorothy Houts Fund with gift of Winnifred Cone and the Marvin Cone Trust, 86.1.10.

Americans in Paris: Grant Wood and Marvin Cone's 1920 Trip to Paris

Now-October 21, 2021

For three months in the summer of 1920, Grant Wood and his best friend Marvin Cone traveled to Paris to see great art, soak up the sights, and to paint.  This brief sojourn proved to be pivotal for both artists, enhancing their nascent interest in Impressionism and painting en plein air.  While each artist discontinued painting in this style beyond the early 1930s, this trip to Paris (Wood’s first trip abroad, Cone’s second) was critical to their development.  What the artists did, saw, and painted is carefully outlined in Cone’s meticulous and well-written diary of the trip, including where the artists painted on which days.  As such, this diary enables the ability to date certain works to the precise date of creation.  It also allows viewers to see how each artist depicted the same scene, often in very different terms.