Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

Honorary Degree
  • Grant Wood
    1891–1942
    born: near Anamosa, Iowa, United States ; died: Iowa City, Iowa, United States ; active: United States
    George Charles Miller, printer
    1894–1965
    born: New York, New York, United States ; active: United States
    Associated American Artists, publisher
    active 1934–2000
  • Honorary Degree, 1937
  • Where object was made: United States
  • lithograph
  • Paper Type: Rives BFK wove
  • Image Dimensions Height/Width: 300 x 176 mm
    Image Dimensions Height/Width: 11 3/4 x 6 7/8 in
    Sheet/Paper Dimensions: 407 x 303 mm
    Sheet/Paper Dimensions: 16 x 11 7/8 in
    Mat Dimensions: 19 x 14 in
  • Gift of Senator August W. Lauterbach
  • Not on display
  • 1960.0012
Description
Literature
Catalogue raisonné

Three men involved in a graduation ceremony. The short man in the center is being handed a diploma by a man on the left and hooded by a man on the right. Light floods through a church-like window and bathes the trio in light.

Honorary Degree is an excellent example of Wood's hightly personal style. He represents a typical American event with humor and sympathy. The feeling of restraint is further emphasized by his patient execution of intricate design and hard-edged, brittle forms. The central figure is a self-portrait. The lithograph was executed as a commentary on Wood's reception of a degree and based on a pencil and crayon drawing of the same subject.