About this artwork
In American Gothic, Grant Wood directly evoked images of an earlier generation by featuring a farmer and his daughter posed stiffly and dressed as if they were, as the artist put it, “tintypes from my old family album.” They stand outside of their home, built in an 1880s style known as Carpenter Gothic. Wood had seen a similar farmhouse during a visit to Eldon, Iowa.
When it was exhibited at the Art Institute in 1930, the painting became an instant sensation, its ambiguity prompting viewers to speculate about the figures and their story. Many understood the work to be a satirical comment on midwesterners out of step with a modernizing world. Yet Wood intended it to convey a positive image of rural American values, offering a vision of reassurance at the beginning of the Great Depression.
- Grant Wood
- American Gothic
- United States (Object made in)
- Oil on Beaver Board
- Signed and dated lower right on overalls: GRANT / WOOD / 1930
- 78 × 65.3 cm (30 3/4 × 25 3/4 in.)
- Friends of American Art Collection