Randy Lengeling is a native Iowan who grew up in Carroll and received his entire medical education in internal medicine and gastroenterology at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. In 1981, he started and continues his private practice in Dubuque with the Grand River Medical Group (formerly Dubuque Internal Medicine). Having been goal-directed in his medical training, he had little, if any, art history instruction and when then having the time and resources to travel, he attempted to satisfy this “incomplete education” by visiting art museums at every opportunity. While initially becoming a fan of Impressionism, upon one of many visits to the Art Institute of Chicago in 1984, he viewed a major retrospective of a fellow lifelong Iowan entitled "Grant Wood: The Regionalist Vision." Naively, he knew of and had seen Wood’s American Gothic there, but the inspiring story of this Iowan’s arduous journey from a poor farm boy to the creator of the overnight success that now rivals DaVinci’s Mona Lisa for international recognition, was an epiphany. From then on, his avocation has been collecting, researching, curating and lecturing on Iowa’s most famous artist and is a founding and active trustee and benefactor of the Dubuque Museum of Art, which has a world-class Grant Wood collection.
Grant Wood: Artistic Rags to Riches—An American Success Story
This is an animated PowerPoint presentation, with archival photographs and video segments, that looks at Wood’s personal life story, his artistic development and meteoric rise to international prominence as the leader of Regionalism, his controversial professorship at the State University of Iowa and his enduring legacy in art history, having lived nearly his whole life in Iowa. His story is an inspiration for all Americans, particularly Iowans, and a shining example that world-influencing achievements can occur in this “flyover” state that we call home. Original Grant Wood works may be available for viewing.