Art

Who Are The People In Grant Wood's "American Gothic"?

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Grant Wood's 1930 painting "American Gothic" has become an iconic piece of American history, largely considered a representation of middle America. But there is a lot of misinformation surrounding the piece. For one, the painting depicts a father and daughter, not a married couple as many assume. The pair in the painting were modeled after Wood's dentist and his sister. Common interpretations of the work include the painting showing a proud, earnest, Midwestern couple and a snarky pair of farmers mocking either the city life or the rural life. Wood's painting earned him instant fame when it was exhibited for the first time at the Art Institute of Chicago, and it earned him a prize of $300.

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. Wood says the characters in American Gothic were supposed to be father and daughter, but in real life it was his dentist and sister. 00:14

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