Monday, August 17, 2015

American Gothic House

St. Louis Trip, Day 1 - Friday, July 24, 2015
On our way through southern Iowa, we stopped in Eldon at the American Gothic House, made famous by artist Grant Wood.  American Gothic is a 1930 oil painting of a farmer and his daughter. Wood's models were his sister, Nan Wood Graham, and his dentist, Dr. Byron McKeeby.
The house still stands in its original location; a pathway lined with beautiful wildflowers leads to it.  A welcome center is nearby, filled with information about the house, the painting, and the artist.  Many parodies of American Gothic are displayed.  We saw humorous parodies, political parodies, quilted parodies, and even a parody made of rebar.
A rack of outfits and a supply of pitchforks is handy.  Workers at the welcome center helped us tie the aprons on over our clothes.  Then one of the ladies kindly showed us where to stand for pictures and took a few photos for us.  Tourists can buy souvenirs at the gift shop or give freewill offerings, but there is no admission fee or charge of any kind.
The American Gothic House is neat to see.  If you're ever in the area, it will be well worth your time to pay a visit.
"God made the country, and man made the town."  --William Cowper, The Task


48 comments:

  1. Ha! Very cool photo of you! I would enjoy visiting this place.

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    1. Thanks! I hope you get a chance to sometime!

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  2. Ahh! Great pictures! My husband and I have been wanting to go there!

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    1. If any of your trips take you through the area, you should definitely stop by!

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  3. Isn't that a fun place? We were there last year. Your portrait turned out very well!

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    1. I probably should have had a centered split in my hair, but I didn't think of it! It was fun, and I was happy with how our pictures turned out. I see from your blog, you're just over in Illinois. Perhaps we should coordinate a trip sometime to end up at the same place at the same time. :)

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  4. Great post, Bethany! It looks like a neat place to visit. The first photo made me smile. Happy Monday, enjoy your day!

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  5. I absolutely loved this post, Bethany! And your picture is quite unique and fun :) If my family and I are ever in the area we will definitely have to visit. Thanks for sharing and have a lovely Monday!

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  6. Wow Bethany you look fantastic

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  7. Looks like a fun place! And oh, I love that photo of you and your father! :-)
    Have a lovely week!

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  8. I just read about this place sometime not too far back, but can not remember where I read it. I would love to visit it.

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  9. I loved your picture. I think it's a hoot! What a fun place to visit and I love how it's free too.

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    1. Perhaps the best part is that although it's free, the staff is helpful and very nice!

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  10. Hahaha! I love that first photo. Very cool. And what a fun place to visit.

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  11. What a cool place to visit! Love the American Gothic portrayal by you two! So cute.

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  12. Oh my goodness - this gave me a great giggle at the start! I love how focused you both are for your pose. Lol
    What a cool place to visit. That would be a lot of fun and to have a keepsake photo posed in front of that iconic spot would be wonderful to have. ;) I never knew those were his inspiration. Love that!
    Thanks for sharing dear Gal. xoxo

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    1. We tried, and the lady who worked at the visitor center gave us some good pointers!

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  13. How fun! Another place I would enjoy seeing:)
    Blessings, Aimee

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  14. I would love to visit here too! I love the picture. I learned something too. I always thought it was a farmer and his wife. Now I know better.

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    1. The painting has been sometimes interpreted as a farmer and his wife. However, Nan Wood Graham, the woman in the picture, claimed it's a farmer and his daughter. Grant Wood confirmed this in one letter.

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  15. Looks like a great place to visit, especially given the rebar parody!
    Cool coveralls and apron :)
    I also like the fact that there is no admission fee.
    Have a Happy Week!!
    Peace :)

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  16. No kidding, how cool is that!
    Definitely have to add this place to my "Bucket List" of places to visit...

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  17. Well, that was a fascinating visit, and a great photo of you with your father that will be bringing smiles for years to come. I had a lot to learn as i didn't know about the American Gothic House. I googled and ended up finding a video tour of the inside of the house by Beth Howard, a lady who lives in it, makes pies that she sells to visitors, and continues to grieve her husband's death (she talks about that last point in a separate video). Very interesting post, Bethany!

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    1. Ah! A friend of mine had told me there was a lady who lived in the Gothic House and gave pie-baking lessons, so I was wondering about that...especially since I didn't see anything about it at the house. Now that I see the name, I've found the website too. Apparently she lived there from September 2010 to September 2014, so we missed out on her pies! I also wondered about the inside, since it didn't seem they were giving tours (we didn't ask though--maybe they would have given us a tour if we requested it; I don't know). Great to hear there's a video posted to tour it online! Thank you!

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    2. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed your visit! To answer your question regarding tours of the house: Visitors can explore the downstairs portion of the house the second Saturday of the month, April-October. More information on tours and other events we host can be found on our website at www.AmericanGothicHouse.net.

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  18. Hi Bethany, When the page at Liberty or Death opened up on my screen ... I said, Oh My ... I've seen that picture before! Big smile. Of course, I hadn't ... but you and Papa look perfect there. When are you guys going to visit Hollywood? :-) Your blog is simply awesome. Thank you for sharing and have a great week ahead.

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    1. *grin* I don't think Hollywood is the place for us! But thanks so much! Have a great week as well!

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  19. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed your visit! To answer your question regarding tours of the house: Visitors can explore the downstairs portion of the house the second Saturday of the month, April-October. More information on tours and other events we host can be found on our website at www.AmericanGothicHouse.net.

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    1. Awesome--good to hear! Thank you for the information, for stopping by, and for making the American Gothic House such a pleasant place to visit!

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  20. What a fun place to visit! Love the photos.
    Have a great week!

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  21. What a fun photo of you and your dad. I always thought the woman was the farmer's wife. Wikipedia says it could be either his wife or daughter. - That would be a fun place to visit though.

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    1. It was fun! Yes, the image has often been interpreted as a farmer and his wife, and if my mom had been there, we probably would have used that interpretation for taking a photo of my parents together. Nan Graham, the lady in the photo, claimed it was a farmer and his daughter, however, and Grant Wood seems to have confirmed this in one of his letters.

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  22. I know the painting, because I have seen it before on a graphic magazine. Now I know more about this painting. For sure it is worth to visit this place. I like very much the picture sorrounded by trees and gardens and the other ones as well.

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