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How Did The Agency’s Conference Rooms Get Their Names?

Did you know in addition to the conference center rooms, we now have 5 small conference rooms located on the 1st floor?  A new small conference room (seats 8) was recently added in the Administration area across the hallway from the Observation Rooms.  All of these conference rooms may be reserved using the Room Scheduler.


While trying to name the new conference room, we learned the conference rooms on the 1st floor were named in honor of paintings created by the artist, Grant Wood.  The original conference rooms on the 2nd floor were named after counties in our service area – Benton, Johnson, Linn, Cedar, Iowa, and Jones.


Grant Wood Room – conference room across from receptionist
Grant Wood – artist (1981-1942) – Grant Wood was an American Regionalist painter born in 1891 to Quaker parents, Hattie Weaver and Francis Maryville Wood, on a farm near Anamosa, Iowa.  Wood's father moved his family to Cedar Rapids in 1901.  Immediately after he graduated from high school, Wood left Cedar Rapids for Minneapolis, where he attended art school. Wood returned to Cedar Rapids in 1911 and was a teacher in a one room school house in the country.


GWAEA Gothic room is the first conference room in the conference center.  This room is currently used for equipment storage.
painting - American Gothic (1930) – This painting is Grant Wood’s most famous painting.
In 1930, Grant Wood noticed the Dibble House, a small white house built in the Carpenter Gothic architectural style in Eldon, Iowa. Wood decided to paint the house along with "the kind of people I fancied should live in that house."  His sister Nan (1899–1990) is the model for the woman, dressing her in a colonial print apron mimicking 19th century Americana. The man is modeled on Wood's dentist, Dr. Byron McKeeby (1867–1950).  The image soon began to be reproduced in newspapers.  Wood received a backlash when the image finally appeared in the Cedar Rapids Gazette.  Iowans were furious at their depiction as "pinched, grim-faced, puritanical Bible-thumpers".  One farmwife threatened to bite Wood's ear off. Wood protested that he had not painted a caricature of Iowans but a depiction of Americans.  Nan, apparently embarrassed at being depicted as the wife of someone twice her age, began telling people that the painting was of a man and his daughter.


GWAEA Winter Room / large conference room in conference center
painting - Winter (1928)


GWAEA Spring Room / large conference room in conference center
paintings - Spring Plowing (1931), Spring in the Country (1941) & Spring Turning (1936)


GWAEA Autumn Room / large conference room in conference center
paintings - Autumn Landscape (1926-1927) & Autumn Oaks (1933)


GWAEA Stone Room / medium size conference room in conference center 
Stone Barn (1919) & Stone City, Iowa (1930) - During the summers of 1932 and 1933, Grant Wood created the Stone City Colony and Art School. The Colony was headquartered in the large, limestone mansion of the Green Estate, overlooking Stone City.


GWAEA Revere Room / medium size conference room in conference center
painting -The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere (1931)


GWAEA Hoover Room / small conference room next to Joe Crozier’s office
painting - Birthplace of Herbert Hoover (1931)


GWAEA Arbor Room / small conference room next to Maria Cashman’s office
painting - Arbor Day (1932)

GWAEA Indian Creek Room / small conference room next to Maria Cashman’s office
painting - Peter Funcke at Indian Creek (1910-1920)
Who was Peter J. Funcke?  Peter J. Funcke resided in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and lived to be 100 years old. In his teens he was painted by the artist, Grant Wood.   Peter retired from the Cedar Rapids Police Dept. in 1952 and from Collins Radio in 1966.


GWAEA Turner Room - small conference room in the administration hallway
No. 5 Turner Alley - Grant’s friend David Turner hired Grant to redecorate an old mansion in Cedar Rapids to be Turner’s Funeral Home.  Mr. Turner realized that Grant was interested in the brick barn behind the Funeral Home, so he offered the hayloft to Grant as a studio space. Grant fixed up the property at his own expense, but Mr. Turner did not charge him any rent. This hayloft would soon become home for Grant and his family, and it was known as No. 5 Turner Alley. They lived there from 1924 to 1934.


painting - Portrait of John B. Turner, Pioneer (1928-1930) – John B. Turner was the father of Wood’s main patron in Cedar Rapids.


GWAEA Sunlit Studio - small conference room in the administration hallway (with a window!)
painting - Sunlit Studio (1925-1926)



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Grant Wood Area Education Agency extends equal opportunities in its employment practices, educational programs and services, and does not discriminate on the basis of color, gender, race, national origin, religion, creed, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, veteran status or as otherwise prohibited by law. If you believe you or your child has been discriminated against or treated unjustly, please contact the Agency’s Equity Coordinator, Maria Cashman, at 319-399-6847 or 800-332-8488 or TDD 319-399-6766, Grant Wood AEA, 4401 Sixth St SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404.

ADDRESS: 4401 Sixth Street SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404
TELEPHONE: 319-399-6700 | 800-332-8488
Fax: 319-399-6457
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