37 American Gothic Facts: Learn About Famous Paintings! | Kidadl


37 American Gothic Facts: Learn About Famous Paintings!

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Even its numerous homages and parodies are easily recognized because of the piece's staging's deep roots in American art and society.

In Grant Wood's painting, 'American Gothic', a Carpenter Gothic-style home with a stoic guy with a pitchfork and ladies peering off to the side. Grant Wood was born in Iowa on February 13, 1892.

After his father died in 1901, his family relocated to Cedar Rapids, where he began working as an apprentice in a metal company. In 1910, he enrolled in an art school in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He began working as a silversmith at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1913. He taught painting at the University of Iowa's School of Art from 1934 until 1941. Wood died of liver cancer at the university hospital a day after his 51st birthday in 1942. Wood was influenced by the works of Jan Van Eyck, a Flemish artist who lived in the 15th century.

Formulation Of 'American Gothic'

The picture has evolved into one of the most well-known symbols of American art as a compelling portrayal of the Midwest's unhappy and hardworking rural residents. 'American Gothic' is among the most famous American paintings of the twentieth century, and the painting's controversy contributed to its popularity.

  • Wood drew a home drawing on an envelope, intending to use it as the backdrop for his most famous painting.
  • Many people believe Grant Wood created 'American Gothic' on canvas; however, he painted this painting on beaverboard rather than canvas, employing oil paints.
  • Beaverboard is a type of fiberboard construction material in which wood fibers are crushed into sheets of Wood. When Grant Wood produced the 'American Gothic' painting, it was employed in construction for things like walls and ceilings in dwellings.
  • However, by the late '20s, the artist had understood that American art tried to break away from Europe and portray the unique character with the culture of their areas.
  • Grant Wood was described as the 'foremost American painter' by the modernist writer and passionate admirer of Picasso and Matisse, who reportedly said so without sarcasm.
  • The artwork is titled after the architectural style of the home. Americana was mixed with European technique in this painting.
  • World War I impacted the culture, arts, and politics of the time.
  • Grant Wood was a Midwesterner born and brought up in the state of Iowa in the United States. Because his father died while he was young, his mother relocated the family to Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
  • In 1910, he joined an art school, the Handicraft Guild, finishing high school. He studied in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago around 1913 and worked as a silversmith for a while.
  • Grant Wood's inspiration for the American Gothic House was a real house in Iowa. Grant Wood was being carried about Eldon by a young painter John Sharp around August 1930.
  • The iconic painting will now travel from the Art Institute of Chicago to the Whitney Museum of American Art for a complete Grant Wood retrospective, the first in New York until 1983 and just the third study of his art outside the Midwest until 1935.

Analysis Of 'American Gothic'

This well-known artwork was presented for the first time publicly at the Art Institute of Chicago, earning Grant Wood a $300 award and immediate recognition. 'American Gothic' swiftly became one of America's most iconic paintings and is now firmly ingrained in the country's popular culture.

  • It is generally seen as a sarcastic reflection on the midwestern character. But Wood intended to make a positive message about rural American ideals, a reassuring picture during immense upheaval and disappointment.
  • With all their virtues and defects, the man and woman symbolize survival in their solid and well-crafted world.
  • The show, entitled 'Grant Wood: American Gothic and Other Fables', will feature a wide variety of Wood's work, through early Arts and Crafts decorative items through Impressionist oils, as well as works on paper, mature paintings, murals, and book illustrations.
  • 'Daughters of Revolution', a satirical depiction of three unattractive older women who look smugly happy with their Revolutionary history, is another famous painting by him. In 1934, Wood was appointed as an associate professor of fine arts at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.
  • The 'American Gothic' house has been added to the National Register of Historic Places and is open to the public. The tale behind the painting's creation and ascent to renown adds to its allure.
  • The picture is both literal and metaphorical at the same time. Wood refers to the link Americans have with their houses as extensions of themselves, particularly in rural America, by putting women and men in front of the property.
  • There is also a specific geometry of lines, zigzags, and circles in the painting. The pattern continuity, particularly in the curtains in the upper windows and on the woman's apron, appears to bind the picture together.
  • The upper arched window also seems to be one of the vital compositional aspects of the American Gothic.
Interesting facts about the significance of 'American Gothic'.

Copies Of 'American Gothic'

'American Gothic' was included in the 1930 annual show at the Art Institute of Chicago, where it received a bronze medal and a $300 reward. That's not all, though. The sculpture was purchased for the collection at the Art Institute. Following that, a photograph of the prize-winning painting was published in the Chicago Evening Post and subsequently in newspapers across the United States, rising in reputation and popularity for each publication.

  • The Art Institute is still home to 'American Gothic', 85 years later. Along with fellow painters, John Steuart Curry, Thomas Hart Benton, and Grant Wood formed the Trio of Regionalists. They wanted to showcase the Midwest as an influential art and artist destination.
  • The Dibble House was built in 1881 by Charles Dibble, and Catherine passed through several owners before Carl Smith presented it to the State Historical Society of Iowa around 1991.
  • Early on, authors like Christopher Morley and Gertrude Stein thought that American Gothic satirized the parochialism of small-town America. However, when the Great Depression harmed the nation's morale, American Gothic was seen as a much-needed celebration of the country's strength and spirit.
  • The artist's identity is painted pale blue, including the canvas material (Wood) and the year (1930) inside the bottom-right edge of the farmer's overalls, practically unreadable against the denim background.

Important Details About 'American Gothic'

Residents in the artist's hometown of Cedar Rapids were upset because they were depicted as grim-faced, pinched, traditionalist Christians in 'American Gothic'. Wood stated that he did not want to display a caricature but rather express his gratitude as a devoted Iowan.

  • It is presently in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. Wood began working as a silversmith at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1913. He lectured painting at the School of Art of the University of Iowa from 1934 until 1941.
  • The first famous parody, a 1942 photograph by Gordon Parks of cleaning worker, woman Ella Watson, displayed in Washington, D.C., was spurred by the Depression-era perception of the painting as a representation of a genuinely American setting.
  • A painting by Grant Wood bought for $6.96 million at a Sotheby's bidding might set a new high for the artist best known for 'American Gothic'.
  • Wood wanted to make a positive message about rural American traditions and present a reassuring picture during a time of immense suffering and disillusionment brought on by the Great Depression, he added.
  • Grant Wood was quickly accepted into Regionalism, an American realism contemporary art style that eschewed urbanization in favor of rural landscapes. However, some art critics, like Christopher Morley and Gertrude Stein, interpreted the painting as a mockery of rural, small-town life. In contrast, others saw it as a portrayal of the persistent American pioneer spirit.
  • Nan Wood Graham, Wood's sister, with their dentist, Dr. Byron McKeeby, inspired the characters in 'American Gothic'.
  • The lady in the painting has a colonial print apron and wields a pitchfork, suggesting 19th century Americana. From February 25 through June 4, 2017, the painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts of London.
  • The Art Institute of Chicago obtained the painting shortly after for its library. A photograph of the prize-winning painting was published in the Chicago Evening Post a short time later, and it quickly became well-known.
  • Wood was a budding 39-year-old artist residing in the loft of a funeral home guest house with his sister and mother before the painting.
  • He became something of a media scamp with the popularity of 'American Gothic'. He was noted for changing the history and significance of his paintings to fit whatever popular narrative or trend existed at the time. But, on the other hand, his followers were greedy, frequently chasing him at his family home.
  • While Wood was touring Eldon, Iowa, he got the idea for the painting. He noticed a small white house on the second level with a carpenter Gothic window, which Wood thought was arrogant. So he drew the home on an envelope fast and used it as the inspiration for what became 'American Gothic'.
  • With each passing year, the significance of the painting has evolved. Early on, authors like Christopher Morley and Gertrude Stein thought that American Gothic satirized small-town America's provincialism.
  • Wood also remarked on the significance of the painting. 'There is satire in it', he stated, 'but only to the extent that there is sarcasm in every genuine statement'. 'These are the kinds of people I've recognized in my actual life. I attempted to portray them as accurately as possible, making them somewhat like themselves than they were in real life'.
  • Wood's signature is almost completely obscured in the painting.
  • The curve of the hayfork's prongs is repeated in the patterns of the farmer's overalls and the lines of the home. The woman's apron has a pattern that is identical to the design on the curtains.

With a Master's in Philosophy from the prestigious University of Dublin, Devangana likes to write thought-provoking content. She has vast copywriting experience and previously worked for The Career Coach in Dublin. Devanga also possesses computer skills and is constantly looking to boost her writing with courses from the universities of Berkeley, Yale, and Harvard in the United States, as well as Ashoka University, India. Devangana was also honored at the University of Delhi when she undertook her Bachelor's Degree in English and edited her student paper. She was social media head for the global youth, the literacy society president, and the student president.

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