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American Gothic Art - A Stan Klos Webpage

American Gothic
By: Neal McLaughlin


American Gothic was never, in actuality, an art movement but is more closely related to the Regionalism movement that dominated most of the Midwest in the 1920's and 1930's.

Regionalism was an uncoordinated movement started by a few artists who were inspired by the beautiful natural landscapes and by the ordinary people who inhabited the Midwest, especially those of Iowa.

The paintings of the Regionalists can be easily identified by their use of familiar scenes painted in a very realistic, hard-edged natural style which depict the influence of the thirteenth-century European Gothic artists.

While set in their ways with ideas of their own, Regionalists shared a common bond with other American Scenic painters as they were humble, anti-modernists who delighted in depicting everyday life in a truly unique style.

The Regionalism movement, sometimes referred to as the first uniquely American style of art, was not limited to just brush and palette. There were others who chose the pen and ink as their medium and they set out to illustrate their feelings of life through story writing and poetry.

The term "American Gothic" is actually a generic name which came into use following Grant Wood's (1892-1942) painting of the same name. This world-renowned painting of 1930 portrays a father and his young daughter rigidly posed in the front of their European style home, which had been erected in 1880 by builders using a style known as Carpenter Gothic.

American gothic was a painting which exploded into controversy and anger by town folks who felt that Wood was making a mockery of the local farming community. Upon attempting to enter his painting into a juried exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago, Grant would once again meet with resistance.

The panels of judges were split straight down the middle. There were those who regarded the painting as worthy of showing and then a group of judges who felt that American Gothic should be barred. One attending critic even considered the painting to be a caricature and insulting to the plain country people.

However, as Grant Wood had testified time after time; this painting was meant as a satirical tribute to the Midwest. For if he sought to embarrass the town and its people he would also be implicating himself. And considering how strongly he felt about his roots it is truly difficult to believe that he had created this painting with malice in his heart.

Finally, the opposing judges gave their blessings and American Gothic was entered into the exhibit where it would receive a bronze medal and a 300.00 dollar cash prize as well as a permanent home.

Grant Wood continued to paint astounding pictures of his family members, friends and of his favorite places. However, none of his other works would ever fall under the guise of American Gothic. He was a Regionalist, and as such, he would subscribe to the principles that had been established at the onset of the Regionalism Movement.








 

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Research Links

 

The Story of the American Gothic

... The original American Gothic hangs today in the Art Institute of Chicago. Want to do more? Send us your interpretation of the American Gothic. ...

Sister Wendy's American Collection | Selected Works | American ...

... Grant Wood's American Gothic has been part of the Art Institute of Chicago's Department of Modern and Contemporary Art since he debuted it there in 1930. ...

NPR : 'American Gothic', Present at the Creation

... Creation, NPR's ongoing series on the origins of American icons, Melissa Gray looks at one of the most recognizable examples of American art, American Gothic. ...

Global Gallery - Grant Wood - American Gothic - Art Print

Grant Wood, American Gothic art print. Explore our extensive Grant Wood collection of fine art prints. Global Gallery offer thousands ...

Murals Designed by Grant Wood

... and John Steuart Curry of Kansas, formed an important American art movement known ... of Iowa, and is perhaps best remembered for his "American Gothic" portrait of ...

Guardian Unlimited | Arts features | American Gothic, Grant Wood ...

... Ride of Paul Revere (1931), in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York ... attraction in the Iowa town of Eldon - built in the American Gothic or Carpenter's ...

Uncle Sam Sidewalk Art: American Gothic

"American Gothic in Troy, NY" Sidewalk Art from the 1996 Arts Festival. This piece is a parody of the classic painting, "American ...

Life as a Pioneer - Interpreting American Gothic

Interpreting American Gothic. Grant Wood was a famous American artist. ... Read what Grant Wood said about this painting. Make Your Own American Gothic. ...

Artist from the Heartland : Grant Wood

... 1. Show the art print "American Gothic" and tell the students that it was painted by Grant Wood. 2. Have the students name everything they see in the painting. ...

Parodies of Wood's "American Gothic"

Step 6: Parodies of Grant Wood's Painting "American Gothic". As the "Present at the Creation" NPR site suggests, Grant Wood's painting ...

American Gothic, 1930 Art Print Poster by Grant Wood ...

... American Gothic, 1930 Artist: Grant Wood. ... Privacy Policy © 1999-2004 NothinButPrints. com All Rights Reserved All Art Prints Images Copyright their Respective ...

Planet 5th's American Gothic

American Gothic by Grant Wood. American Gothic by Grant Wood was divided into rectangular sections. Students were assigned sections ...

American Gothic Art about American Prairie Settlement by Bill ...

... See also Harvey Dunn Collection of American Illustration Images Courtesy of the Biggs Museum of American Art. The Bronzing Process. ...

ArtLex's Al-Am page

... Related link: @rt room is an art education site with a page The Story American Gothic. Also see American Scene painting and Art Deco. American Indian art. ...

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