American Gothic Painting by Grant Wood Analysis by Berenise Hernandez
Grant Wood • Grant Wood was born on February 13, 1891 in a farm in Iowa. He spent the first 10 years of his life on the farm but after the death of his father he had to move out. His memories of life on the farm helped inspire many of his famous paintings. When he was 14 , he won third prize in a national contest on a crayon drawing of oak leaves. Winning the prize was his inspiration to be an artist. Grant Wood emphasize art from different countries like French and German and converted it to have an American tint.
Information and History • American Gothic is painting of a Man, a Woman and a Pitchfork. Throughout the years this painting has won national American recognition just like the Statue of Liberty. The painting was done on August 1930 , when Wood found the house he would make famous. The house was a perfect example of Midwestern Gothic architecture.
Information and History • The figures in the painting are a man and woman . It depicts a man and his daughter. Wood used his sister and the family dentist as models for the painting. He choose to use a pitchfork rather than a rake because of its complicated appearance. The pitchfork is mirrored in his overalls and window. Something unique about the people is that he painted them separately and they never posed side by side.
Views • They are many views about American Gothic but everyone agrees that its attitude is satiric. • Iowans- People native to Iowa were offended. They were seen as sour people that lived a simple life. • Non-Iowans saw the painting perfectly depicted bitter Midwestern narrowness. • When the Depression started , American Gothic started to represent America as the irony of the picture identified Americans as hardworking people.
Views cont. • Many people agree that the painting can reveal just about anything about American life. American people can be seen as humble, simple , religious, into agricultural, hard-working and more. • My view is that the painting does reflect values and characteristics of Americans not just Midwestern people.