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托福听力短文 I-08-3

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(man) Before we begin our tour, I'd like to give you some background information on the painter Grant Wood --- we'll be seeing much of his work today.

Wood was born in 1881 in Iowa farm country, and became interested in art very early in life. Although he studied art in both Minneapolis and at the Art Institute of Chicago, the strongest influences on his art were European. He spent time in both Germany and France and his study there helped shape his own stylized form of realism.

When he returned to Iowa, Wood applied the stylistic realism he had learned in Europe to the rural life he saw around him and that he remembered from his childhood around the turn of the century. His portraits of farm families imitate the static formalism of photographs of early settlers posed in front of their homes. His paintings of farmers at work, and of their tools and animals, demonstrate a serious respect for the life of the Midwestern United States. By the 1930's, Wood was a leading figure of the school of art called "American regionalism."

In an effort to sustain a strong Midwestern artistic movement, Wood established an institute of Midwestern art in his home state. Although the institute failed, the paintings you are about to see preserve Wood's vision of pioneer farmers.

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