Crash Course: Little Known History – “American Gothic” Models

gothic

American Gothic is a painting by Grant Wood in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. Wood’s inspiration came from what is now known as the American Gothic House, and his decision to paint the house along with “the kind of people I fancied should live in that house.” The painting shows a farmer standing beside his spinster daughter.

"American Gothic" - 1930 Oil on Beaver Board  780 mm (30.71 in) x 653 mm (25.71 in).

“American Gothic” – 1930
Oil on Beaver Board
780 mm (30.71 in) x 653 mm (25.71 in).

The American Gothic House, also known as the Dibble House, is a house in Eldon, Iowa, designed in the Gothic Revival style with a distinctive upper window. The home is located at 300 American Gothic St. Eldon, Iowa, is 504 sq ft located on .92 acres. It was built 1881–1882.

The American Gothic House, also known as the Dibble House, is a house in Eldon, Iowa, designed in the Gothic Revival style with a distinctive upper window.
The home is located at 300 American Gothic St. Eldon, Iowa, is 504 sq ft located on
.92 acres. It was built 1881–1882.

Wood recruited his sister Nan (1899–1990) to model the woman, dressing her in a colonial print apron mimicking 19th-century Americana. The man is modeled on Wood’s dentist, Dr. Byron McKeeby (1867–1950) from Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

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