Washington High School’s art gallery has been unveiled. The Grant Wood Gallery was completed with funds raised to commemorate the high school’s 50th anniversary in the current building. Wood is a 1910 graduate of “old Washington.”
The Gallery houses several original works by Grant Wood and his 1910 Washington High School classmate, Marvin Cone. These include “Kanesville,” an original mural painted by Grant Wood in 1927 for the Chieftain Hotel in Council Bluffs. The mural was restored and preserved by Dr. Milton and Betsy Heifetz of Beverly Hills, California. Dr. Heifetz, a neurosurgeon and art collector, donated “Kanesville” to Washington High School.
“Kanesville” is considered to be a seminal work in Grant Wood’s emergence as a prominent regionalist painter. Just three years after Wood painted “Kanesville,” he finished “American Gothic” and entered it in the art competition sponsored by The Chicago Museum of Art. “American Gothic” won the contest and eventually became America’s most recognizable painting.
Washington High School’s 50th Anniversary Campaign collected over $250,000 from more than 600 families. In addition to the Grant Wood Gallery, the campaign will fund a major upgrade to the school’s southeast side courtyard. A new stage, lighting, and a sound system for the courtyard will create a venue for outdoor concerts and festivals.