Friday, August 21, 2009


IOWA CITY –At a morning ceremony at the historic Grant Wood home in Iowa City, Governor Chet Culver announced that the 2009 “Iowa Award” will be presented in memory of Anamosa-born legendary artist Grant Wood. Wood, who died in 1942 at the age of 50, is best known for his representations of rural Midwestern life. His masterpiece “American Gothic” is one of the most-viewed works of art in the world.
“Grant Wood’s work continues to speak to countless Iowans and Americans,” said Governor Culver. “Grant Wood is an American icon who stayed true to his Iowa roots. It is my pleasure to announce the 2009 ‘Iowa Award’ in his memory.”
Governor Culver made the announcement of this year’s Iowa Award recipient in Iowa City, where Grant Wood spent much of his life. The award will be officially presented in honor of Grant Wood at a formal ceremony later this fall.
The Iowa Award represents the state’s highest citizen award. The Iowa Centennial Memorial Foundation, which was established in 1948, created the award to honor past and present Iowans who exemplify the virtues of citizens in our state. Each honoree is selected by the Iowa Centennial Memorial Foundation, which is composed of the Governor, Treasurer of State, Attorney General, President of the Board of Regents, former Governors who have remained residents of Iowa, and citizen trustees.
Below is a list of Iowa Award recipients:
1951 President Herbert Hoover (engineer, humanitarian, author, and U.S. President)
1955 Jay N. Darling (cartoonist, conservationist, Pulitzer Prize winner)
1961 Dr. Frank Spedding (educator, chemist, worked on the first atomic bomb)
1961 Dr. James Van Allen (educator, physicist, rocket space exploration)
1966 Henry A. Wallace (U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Vice President of the United States)
1970 Mamie Eisenhower (First Lady, wife of President Dwight D. Eisenhower)
1975 Dr. Karl King (composer, bandmaster)
1978 Dr. Norman Borlaug (crop geneticist, worked to end world hunger, Nobel Peace Prize winner)
1980 Monsignor Luigi Liguitti (director, National Catholic Rural Life Conference)
1984 George Gallup (founder of the Gallup Poll)
1988 Meredith Willson (composer, musician)
1992 Carrie Lane Chapman Catt (leader in suffrage movement and for world peace)
1996 Simon Estes (international opera singer)
1999 Maurice Lasansky (artist, educator)
1999 John Atanasoff (physicist, mathematician, educator, inventor of the first electronic digital computer)
2001 John Ruan (innovative entrepreneur, philanthropist, World Food Prize sponsor)
2002 George Washington Carver (internationally renowned scientist and humanitarian)
2005 Robert D. Ray (Governor, statesman, mayor, university president, lawyer, insurance executive)
2006 Harry Hopkins (Presidential advisor)
2009 Grant Wood (artist)

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