Grant Wood (1892—1942)

by Grant Wood (1892—1942)

Oil on masonite; 101.6 x 50.8 cm. Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH.

by Grant Wood (1892—1942)

Oil on canvas. Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, TX.

by Grant Wood (1892—1942)

Oil on Masonite. 30 x 40 in. (76.2 x 101.6 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY.

I set out on this ground, which I suppose to be self-evident, that the earth belongs in usufruct to the living; that the dead have neither powers nor rights over it. This, with its echo of the Declaration (self-evident) was Jefferson at his most terse. Except for the phrase in usufruct — a legalism meaning the right to use property for a certain time — Jefferson’s words could be chiseled in stone, or shouted on the hustings.

Richard Brookhiser
James Madison (2011)