Grant Wood (1891–1942) was born and raised in Iowa. Previously trained in jewelry making, metalworking, and woodworking, he took painting and drawing classes at the Art Institute of Chicago from 1913–16. Along with artists Thomas Hart Benton (1889–1975) and John Steuart Curry (1897–1946), he became one of America's best-known Regionalists, a group of twentieth century American artists who rejected the abstract, modernist styles of European art and, instead, depicted American rural life in a clearly readable, realistic style. Wood traveled to Europe four times to study art, and he admired the early Flemish and German painters' ability to depict mythological and biblical subjects in contemporary costumes and settings, making them more relevant to their viewers. Wood returned to Iowa where he dedicated himself to applying these ideas to his depictions of ordinary life. Throughout his career, he remained committed to depicting American regional life in a uniquely national style.