Grant Wood lived and worked in this upstairs studio from 1924 to 1935. He painted some of his most famous works, including American Gothic, here. The space is owned and operated by the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, which also runs a visitors center downstairs. The building is open limited hours (currently noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays) and closes for the winter, but when the studio is open, a docent is on hand to answer questions. You can also watch a video about Grand Wood in the visitors center.
Wood designed and built the small living space above an existing garage in 1924. He gave his studio a made-up address—5 Turner Alley—and added elements inspired by his travels and the Arts and Crafts movement, including built-ins and other handcrafted decorative details. A painting storage unit cleverly slides into the wall. The front door displays Wood’s wit; he drew a clock on a coffin lid with illustrations of where he might be and attached an arrow that points to the various choices. (The garage and studio were next to a mortuary.)