Saturday, July 6, 2013

A Painting, A House, and The Pitchfork Pie Stand

I think we are all familiar with the painting
"American Gothic"
You know the one with the dour farmer
and his spinster daughter
standing in front of their farm house
with the Gothic window?
image source
 It was painted in 1930 by the self proclaimed
"farmer-painter" Grant Wood (1891-1942).
He used his sister Nan and the family's dentist
Dr. Byron McKeeby as the models.
Wood's sister insisted she was the farmer's
daughter and not wife, because she did
not think of herself as old enough to be
his wife in the painting.
Wood used one other model in his composition,
The one that actually inspired the painting.
The 1881 cottage, designed in the Gothic Revival style
with an upper window in the shape of a
medieval pointed arch, provided the background.
It really exists!
Known as the Dibble House, Wood
found it in Eldon, Iowa while visiting
a local artist friend, John Sharp
Wood was amused by the window 
and remarked at how "pretentious"
it was on such a small house.

(The windows on each end of the house are
believed to have been mail ordered out of a
Sears Roebuck & Co catalogue.
Why they chose Gothic church windows
is any one's guess.)
 Wood decided right then to paint a portrait of who
he imagined would live in a house like that.
As for the painting, the rest is history.      
As for the house,
it's a rental property...
with a visitors center.
Find out more about the Dibble house HERE
But don't try renting it now, there's
already someone living there.
Iowa pie lady, Beth Howard.

Find out more about Beth Howard after the jump

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