Born in the small Nebraska town of David City, Nichols had a personal understanding of rural life and his art was devoted to childhood memories of being raised on a farm. Nichols studied at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts in the 1920s and later taught as the Carnegie Professor of Art at the University of Illinois at Chicago. During the 1940s, he served as the art editor of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Nichols art is often associated with the Regionalist art movement that included Grant Wood and Thomas Hart Benton. In contrast to the more idealized views of Midwestern life typical of Regionalism, this print features a barren rural landscape that refers to the hardship and environmental challenges faced by many farmers. The stark forms of the grain elevator and prairie landscape are rendered with a precisionist clarity that conveyed the artist’s direct visual experience of rural communities.