Herbert Hoover National Historic Site
- Cultural Landscape: Herbert Hoover National Historic Site
- Park: Herbert Hoover National Historic Site, Iowa
- Period of Significance: 1874-1966
- Featured Artwork: The Birthplace of Herbert Hoover, West Branch, Iowa, Grant Wood, 1931
- Herbert Hoover National Historic Site Cultural Landscape Report
- Master Poster
In the 1930s, another small-town Iowa boy brought his perspective back to the Midwest.
Grant Wood developed a personal painting style, influenced by painters he has studied in Europe and by the trend towards Regionalism and narration emerging in America. In his 1931 oil painting The Birthplace of Herbert Hoover, West Branch, Iowa, he offers the viewer a wide angle view of the birthplace cottage and surrounding landscape.
Wood re-creates the scene to show it as commemorative destination it had become, rather than suggesting how it might have looked at the time of Hoover's birth. This artistic representation reflects the character of the landscape, which is a strong example of the evolution of presidential memorialization in the United States.
The Herbert Hoover National Historic Site Landscape
The landscape has been divided into six distinct character areas, based on the survival of character-defining features and the ability of each area to authentically represent the historic character of the site. The overall landscape is representative of the efforts to commemorate Hoover's presidency, rather than preserving the community as it appeared during Hoover's boyhood years. Management of the landscape takes both of these periods into consideration, revealing the history and evolution of the site from presidential birthplace to presidential memorial site.
Last updated: June 28, 2018