The Grant Wood/Batchelder connection:

There is, Batchelder wrote, a dignity to hand labor. a dignity "of the mind and heart, not of the hand alone. When a man is robbed of the last vestige of human interest in the work that necessity compels him to do for a living, it is time to scan the credentials of our commercial standards." Batchelder carried that message with him to Minnesota, where, on summer breaks from Throop he taught at the Minneapolis Guild of Handicrafts. His lessons apparently struck responsive chords with his students, who included Grant Wood, whose own work often praised the nobility of the laborer, as in his classic ''American Gothic."

Grant Wood was an exceptional artist from a very young age. When he was 14, he won third prize in a national contest for a crayon drawing of oak leaves and said that winning that prize was his inspiration to become an artist. His formal art education included two summers with Ernest Batchelder at the School of Design and Handicraft in Minneapolis and three years of occasional night classes at the Art Institute of Chicago. (This paragraph lifted from a bio of Grant Wood)