Friday, August 22, 2008

Ottumwa Premiere of THIS AMERICAN GOTHIC

OttumwaThe Ottumwa Area Arts Council received funding from Humanities Iowa, a private, non-profit state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, to host a free documentary called This American Gothic by Sasha Waters Freyer at 2:00 pm on Sunday, September 7 at Bridge View Center in Ottumwa. The event will be followed by a reception with an opportunity to ask questions and visit with the director as well as a chance to produce your own photo of “American Gothic.”

THIS AMERICAN GOTHIC is a quirky portrait of Eldon, Iowa, population 998, and site of the house that inspired one of the most famous paintings in the world. The film follows a group of local women as they work towards their dream of a Gothic House Visitors Center to attract tourists.

THIS AMERICAN GOTHIC uses interviews, direct cinema, animation, parodies and moving image portraiture to explore the complex, ambivalent nature of Grant Wood's famous painting, and to meditate upon observation, self-presentation and representation in painting, photography, history, and the documentary impulse itself.

Produced, directed & edited by Sasha Waters Freyer, Director of Photography by Meghan Sims and featuring Priscilla Coffman, Linda Durflinger, Donna Jeffrey, Brenda Kremer and Steve Siegel.

A cultural resource for Iowans since 1971, Humanities Iowa offers many cultural and historical programs and grants to Iowa’s communities.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Ottumwa Courier includes the American Gothic House when "Finding a good time in Iowa"

"There was the American Gothic House Center in Eldon, which is quite impressive. I think as time moves forward, more visitors will continue to appreciate what the center has to offer and I think it will mean an economic boost to the county."

Thursday, August 7, 2008

American Gothic House Center Receives Conservation Bookshelf

Eldon – Treasured objects and artifacts held by the American Gothic House Center will be preserved for future generations with help from the IMLS Connecting to Collections Bookshelf, a core set of conservation books, DVDs, and online resources donated by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the primary source of federal funding of the nation’s museums and libraries. IMLS and its cooperator, the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH), will award a total of 3,000 free sets of the IMLS Bookshelf by the end of 2009.

“We house a fine collection of American Gothic parodies that will benefit from the guidance of the Conservation Bookshelf,” said Jessica Strom, Administrator of the American Gothic House Center.
“We are very pleased to announce the recipients of the IMLS Bookshelf in the second round of competition. These libraries, museums, and archives are in the forefront of our call to action on behalf of America’s collections,” said Anne-Imelda Radice, Director of IMLS. “According to a recent national survey, our important collections are at great risk, and without them, the American story simply cannot be told to future generations.”

American Gothic House Center is being awarded this essential set of resources based on an application describing the needs and plans for care of its collections. The IMLS Bookshelf focuses on collections typically found in history or art museums and in libraries' special collections, with an added selection of texts for zoos, aquaria, public gardens, and nature centers. It addresses such topics as the philosophy and ethics of collecting, collections management and planning, emergency preparedness, and culturally specific conservation issues.

The IMLS Bookshelf is a crucial component of Connecting to Collections: A Call to Action, a conservation initiative that the Institute launched in 2006. IMLS began the initiative in response to a 2005 study by Heritage Preservation documenting the dire state of the nation’s collections. The multi-faceted, multi-year initiative shines a nationwide spotlight on the needs of America’s collections, especially those held by smaller institutions, which often lack the human and financial resources necessary to adequately care for their collections. For more information on the conservation initiative, please go to

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about the Institute, please visit