American Gothic Was Painted by Grant Wood

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Andrew Rowe
Linda Curtis
History 152
3 November 2010
American Gothic

One of America's best known paintings, American Gothic, was painted by Grant Wood, a painter best known for the traditional paintings of his home-state, Iowa. American Gothic was the result of a movement known as regionalism. Regionalism was a movement in a 1930s America that was a reaction and resistance to Europeans attempt to depict the American way of life. Painters, like Grant Woods’ used the rural Midwest as their subject. I believe that American Gothic has well represented this movement, and has lived on to be one of America's most favorite paintings. It is loved for the countless interpretations and its ability to stimulate people's imaginations. I believe that the most plausible interpretation would be in reference to the Great Depression. The man's immovable demeanor, the woman's troubled expression, and along with their black clothing, leads to the interpretation that although their farm is failing, they will not leave, but are willing to face any ordeal that they may face.

The scene is that of an older man firmly holding a pitchfork; he is wearing glasses and traditional 1930s farm clothes, overalls and a white shirt. The black jacket that he is wearing over his farming attire is one aspect of the picture that stands out. To the man's right is a middle-aged woman, she unlike the man is not looking at the viewer. Like the man, she is wearing traditional 1930’s attire, and her dress is black as well, with a simple pattern of white dots repeating on the dress. Directly behind the couple is a white house. The window that is in between their heads is gothic in style, unlike the other windows on the house. Over the man's left shoulder is a red barn, amongst rounded green trees, against a clear blue sky. The woman clearly has a look of worry on her face, perhaps even fear. She remains tight-lipped, standing firmly behind the man. The man's posture is that of a statue, similar to...
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