painting - American Gothic
Photograph by duwagison Flickr.
American Gothic is a painting by Grant Wood from 1930. Wood decided to paint the house along with the kind of people I fancied should live in that house. He painting Tole painting recruited his sister Nan (1900â€“1990) to model the woman, dressing her in a colonial print apron mimicking 19th century Americana.
The patron also convinced the Art Institute to buy the painting, which remains there today. Art critics who had favorable opinions about the painting, such as Gertrude Stein and Christopher Morley, also assumed the painting was meant to be a satire of rural small-town life. It is thus one of the most reproduced â€” and parodied â€” images ever.
The judges deemed it a comic valentine, but a museum patron convinced them to award the painting the bronze medal and $300 cash prize. The lead stars of Green Acres, Eva Gabor and Eddie Albert, pose similarly to the couple in the painting in the opening of the show.
Wood was quoted in this period as stating, All the good ideas I ve ever had came to me while I was milking a cow. American Gothic is one of the few paintings to reach the status of cultural icon, along with Leonardo da Vinci s Mona Lisa and Edvard Munch s The Scream. The woman is dressed in a colonial print apron mimicking 19th century Americana and the couple are in the traditional roles of men and women, the man s pitchfork symbolizing hard labor, and the flowers over the woman s right shoulder suggesting domesticity. It is one of the most familiar images in 20th century American art and one of the most parodied artworks within American popular culture. In 1930, Grant Wood, an American painter with European training, noticed a small white house built in the Carpenter Gothic architectural style in Eldon, Iowa.
Characters in The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Beauty and the Beast pose as the couple during musical segments. Each element was painted separately; the models sat separately and never stood in front of the house. Wood entered the painting in a competition at the Art Institute of Chicago.
It is a key motif in Anthony Weigh s play 2,000 Feet Away, which opens with a scene featuring the painting at the Art Institute. A sculpture entitled God Bless America that features the American Gothic couple went on display in December 2008 in Chicago, Illinois but has been removed as of February 26th, 2010. Its inspiration came from a cottage designed in the Gothic Revival style with a distinctive upper window The painting shows a farmer standing beside a woman whose identity remains ambiguous; she may either be his spinster daughter, as explained by the artist s sister, or the farmer s wife.
Byron McKeeby (1867â€“1950) from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Wood assisted this transition by renouncing his Bohemian youth in Paris and grouping himself with populist Midwestern painters, such as John Steuart Curry and Thomas Hart Benton, who revolted against the dominance of East Coast art circles.
It was thus seen as part of the trend toward increasingly critical depictions of rural America, along the lines of Sherwood Anderson s 1919 Winesburg, Ohio, Sinclair Lewis s 1920 Main Street, and Carl Van Vechten s The Tattooed Countess in literature. However, with the onset of the Great Depression, the painting came to be seen as a depiction of steadfast American pioneer spirit. The man is modeled on Wood s dentist, Dr.
Many artists have replaced the two people with other known couples and replaced the house with well known houses. References and parodies of the image have been numerous for generations, appearing regularly in such media as postcards, magazines, animated cartoons, advertisements, comic books, and television shows. The memorable 1960s commercial for General Mills New Country Corn Flakes centers around the painting.
The figures were modeled by the artist s dentist and sister. It was located just south of the Tribune Tower on the Magnificent Mile of Michigan Avenue . A parody of American Gothic, in which the head of the farmer is not shown, is seen as one of the pictures Pee-wee pulls down in the Picturephone in the Pee-wee s Playhouse episode Miss Yvonne s Visit. .