Bumper crop: Art and the farm at Reynolda House

Editorial Staff Exhibitions

Though the United States has been predominantly a nation of city dwellers since the 1920s, the farm still figures large in the American consciousness.

Spring Turning by Grant Wood, 1936. Reynolda House Museum of American Art, gift of Barbara B. Millhouse.

Two noteworthy exhibitions this fall examine artistic treatments of the agrarian landscape, offering a striking contrast in viewpoints. Grant Wood and the American Farm, at the Reynolda House Museum of American Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, presents a lyrical survey depicting humankind in harmony with nature. It includes works from the Hudson River school’s Jasper Cropsey, impressionist Childe Hassam, and regionalists such as Wood and Thomas Hart Benton. A highlight is Wood’s 1936 oil Spring Turning—a hypnotic god’s-eye view of a rural universe untouched by twentieth-century progress. No automobiles, no machinery of any kind is seen as farmers and their teams of horses plow the land into a vast, loamy quilt.

Grant Wood and the American Farm • Reynolda House Museum of American Art, Winston-Salem, North Carolina • to December 31 • reynoldahouse.org