Grant Wood American Gothic Print
Fine Art Painting
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.The figures were modeled by the artist’s sister and their dentist. The woman is dressed in a colonial print apron evoking 19th-century Americana, and the couple are in the traditional roles of men and women, the man’s pitchfork symbolizing hard labor, and the flowers over the woman’s right shoulder suggesting domesticity. The plants on the porch of the house are mother-in-law’s tongue and geranium, which are the same plants as in Wood’s 1929 portrait of his mother, Woman with Plants.
It is one of the most familiar images in 20th-century American art, and has been widely parodied in American popular culture.