Saturday, November 10, 2007


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!


Blogger kenju said...

It was one of my favorite paintings for years! And I even love all parodies of it.

3:01 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

My sweetie's family has a Grant Wood painted before he got famous. It is of one of the grandfathers when he was in his prime. He is holding a golf club and is larger than the background, etc. like American Gothic. They also have the sketch he did to work off of. It may be the only uncataloged Wood.

3:07 PM  
Blogger KGMom said...

American Gothic is one of the most written about American Paintings. I believe the former Met curator wrote an entire BOOK on the subject.
Your family portrait is sweet, not Gothic.

5:15 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Good one Ginnie, I really like the picture. As for the original American Gothic, I used that for my Christmas card last year by Photoshopping my husband's and my faces into the picture, adding Santa hats and a wreath around the pitchfork.

4:55 AM  
Blogger Maya's Granny said...

I love that your pitchfork was real.

9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great take on the original! Thanks for sharing.

7:36 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

We have a picture something like that of the inlaws: minus pitchfork but with a walking stick if I recall.

5:56 PM  

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