American Gothic House: Historical Jewel

Last week, as some of you know, I was in my home state of Iowa. On my way back to Kansas yesterday, I decided to take a jog on my way home and stop at, the American Gothic House and visitors center in Eldon, Iowa.

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It had been some time since I had been there, fifteen years in fact. At that time, I went with my dad and mom. Since dad always wore bib overalls it was fun to pose and take some pictures beside him. On that visit I was amazed that the little Gothic house Grant Wood made famous, was just sitting there, unsung, all by itself with no particular fanfare or historic displays or markers, etc.

Well yesterday, when I stopped, I was pleasantly surprised to find a beautiful visitors center along with breathtaking flower gardens and several markers explaining the history of this quaint little house.

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Being the art teacher that I’ll always be, I so appreciated the addition of the center, and the attention given to this historic site. Grant Wood was such an important part of the regionalist movement in the art world, and of course the creator of American Gothic, one of his better known works. It has been copied and satirized adnauseam.

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What I have always appreciated about this painting, and others Wood did, was what he created with such ordinary people and everyday settings. His stylized way of interpreting the landscape, and the subjects he chose to paint stands out as truly an American art form.

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The town of Eldon is a tiny hamlet south of highway 34 in southern Iowa, and well worth the road trip if you’re ever in the area. It is a jewel in the crown of historical sites in America.

 KRE

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