AN AMERICAN FAMILY GOTHIC….1972
The classic Grant Wood painting “The American Gothic” was exhibited for the first time in 1930 at The Art Institute of Chicago. It was awarded a prize of $300 and brought the artist instant fame.
The painting depicts a stoic Iowan farmer gazing unflinchingly at the viewer. His daughter, eyes averted, appears to have the weight of the world on her shoulders. It was painted during the Depression and many believe that the painting illustrates the strength and resolve that was needed at that time to simply survive. Others believe that Wood was satirizing the culture of the mid-west, an accusation that he denied.
“The American Gothic” has become a part of our popular culture and the couple has been the subject of many parodies…ranging from Mad magazine, Disney characters and even a picture of Paul Newman and his daughter (advertising their food stuffs).
My family became part of this dubious group when we enacted our spoof in 1972. Granted (no pun, intended) we added three children to the scene but the basic idea was the same. The pitchfork, by the way, was for real!