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The Pump

A work made of black crayon, with touches of graphite, on cream wove card.

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  • A work made of black crayon, with touches of graphite, on cream wove card.




Grant Wood
American, 1891-1942

About this artwork

Grant Wood, famous for his representations of the Midwest—of which the Art Institute’s American Gothic (1930.934) is his most recognizable example—intended The Pump to be an illustration for Sinclair Lewis’s novel Main Street (1920). This image of a contemporary water pump would have been a perfect fit for Lewis’s novel about life in a midwestern town. The drawing was given to the Art Institute by Carter Manny, Jr., who received it as a high school graduation gift from the artist in 1937.


Currently Off View


Prints and Drawings


Grant Wood


The Pump


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Black crayon, with touches of graphite, on cream wove card


13.7 × 10.6 cm (5 7/16 × 4 3/16 in.)

Credit Line

Mr. and Mrs. Carter Manny Jr. gift in honor of Ada Barnes Manny & Sara Sherman Wood

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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