The figures represented are Dean Emeritus Carl E. Seashore (1866-1949)of the Graduate College (right), Grant Wood (center), and Professor Norman Foerster (1887-1942) of the School of Letters (left), all of the University of the Iowa.  Although Wood had no formal degree after high school, he received a number of prestigious honorary degrees, including a Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.) degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1936 and a Doctor of Fine Arts (D.F.A.) from Lawrence University in 1938.  The collegiate Gothic window in the background, which rhymes visually with the shape of the academic hood Wood is about to receive, is a subtle reference to the painter's iconic masterpiece, American Gothic (1930, Art Institute of Chicago).

Honorary Degree

Grant Wood, Printed by George C. Miller, Published by Associated American Artists