May 23, 2022

An Iowa Public Library Turns Down $6 Million Offer For Grant Wood Painting

From The Telegraph Herald (Dubuque, IA):

While the Carnegie-Stout Public Library’s Board of Trustees has been clear it has no intention of selling either of its Grant Wood paintings, that hasn’t stopped the offers from rolling in.

Trustees in November voted unanimously to reject a $6 million offer from the John Surovek Art Gallery in Palm Beach, Fla., on behalf of an anonymous client who wished to purchase the library-owned “Appraisal” by the famed Iowa artist.

“The Grant Wood is a source of pride not only to the Carnegie-Stout Library but to all of Dubuque,” wrote library board President Jenny L. Weiss in an email. “As long as the library owns ‘Appraisal,’ the Board of Trustees feels an obligation to ensure it remains a Dubuque treasure.”


The library and museum routinely receive offers for Wood’s works. Henricks estimates she gets at least three calls per year with serious offers to purchase “Appraisal,” though this was the largest offer she can recall.

“Six million is a lot of money,” Henricks said, the equivalent to about two year’s worth of library operating expenses. “But is it worth it to let a treasure like that go?”

Read the Complete Article

See Also: Grant-Stout Public Library “Permanent Art Collection” Webpage

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.