ARTIST GRANT WOOD HAD A MAJOR HIT – AND THAT WAS “AMERICAN GOTHIC” IN 1930

The two placid models – Grant Wood’s sister, Nan Wood Graham, and the gentleman beside her was their dentist, Dr. Byron McKeeby. They’re photographed in front of one of America’s most famous images. I remember seeing it up close in the Art Institute of Chicago.It’s a classic for sure.  In the painting Nan Wood Graham is wearing the same cameo brooch she wore in the photograph.  Within the brooch is Persephone, the goddess queen of the Underworld, wife of the god Hades. Wood decided to paint in the background an Iowa house. In his words, “these were the kind of people I thought should live in that house”. Gertrude Stein assumed the painting was meant to be a satire of rural small-town life.<ABOVE – Grant Wood, self-portrait, 1932, Figged Art Museum>  Mr. Wood said he had not painted a caricature of Iowans, but rather a depiction of his appreciation. 

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