Friday, December 18, 2009

On the web this week...

I stumbled upon a neat on-line resource this week. It is a Google site called "OSUN." It searches the web for PDFs, PowerPoints and Word Documents about the subject of your choice. Check out this link for a PDF search on Grant Wood. Like any on-line research, you will still have to sieve through some unwanted content, but you will find a lot of useful information you couldn't have found otherwise.

The second site I want to share came from one of my volunteers. It is an older article that was written in 2005. Most amazing is the picture of the house! You can check it out HERE.

This may be my last post for the year, so I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Safe New Year!

Friday, December 11, 2009

On the web this week...

The American Gothic House made the KTVO news!

The holiday season is coming alive across the Heartland. By Matt Buhrman Saturday, December 05, 2009 at 9:28 p.m. ELDON, IOWA -- A number of events are held in Eldon, Iowa during the first weekend in December. The town is famous for the American Gothic House, as depicted in Grant Wood's 1930 painting. READ MORE and SEE VIDEO CLIP

The PBS show "Saddle Up With Dennis Brouse" Episode 205 airs on IPTV this Saturday morning, December 12 at 8:00 am. READ MORE about the show on the IPTV website. If you don't get a chance to watch the show live, stop by the Visitor Center. We have a copy to play in our media room!

To round out this week with some more video clips, here are a couple of ads that were recently created--one using our "American Gothic" and the other made by the same group of the worlds first most parodied painting, the "Mona Lisa."

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas in Eldon this Weekend

Eldon— There may not be snow on the ground, but the first weekend in December brings Santa and other Christmas festivities to Eldon with the entire community working together for the celebration. Saturday, December 5 hosts a day full of activities, including the Christmas Tree Wanderland, Rock Island Depot, Christmas Dinner, Gingerbread Houses for the Kids, Santa, and a Soup Supper to complete the day.

The McHaffey Opera House hosts the annual Christmas Tree Wanderland with over 100 trees decorated by community organizations and individuals. The event will take place on Friday, December 4 from 9 am to 5 pm; Saturday, December 5 from 9 am to 7 pm; and Sunday, December 6 from 11 am to 3 pm. Complimentary snacks will be served and the gift and goody booth will be open for holiday shopping.

The Eldon Depot will open its doors for the weekend as well. Here you will find toy trains running and the Depot decorated for the Christmas Holidays. Enjoy coffee and cookies and a chance to win a door prize. It will open Friday, December 4 from 5-9 pm; and Saturday, December 5 from 9 am to 9 pm.

Join Gothic Area Tourism of Eldon (G.A.T.E.) for a traditional Christmas Dinner at the KD Center on Saturday, December 5 from 11 am – 1 pm. Turkey with all of the trimmings, ham, mashed potatoes, salads and desserts will be served. Free will donation supports G.A.T.E. as it in turn supports the community of Eldon.

Bring the kids for a stop by the American Gothic House Center on Saturday, December 5 between 1-4 pm to decorate their very own Graham Cracker “Gingerbread” House. They will get their hands tastefully dirty while they create their own masterpiece. You might even be able to get a picture of them with it before it disappears into their bellies!

Here comes Santa Claus at the “Rock” Island Park in downtown Eldon on Saturday, December 5 from 2-3 pm for children ages 12 and under.

The day will wrap up with the Boy Scout Soup Supper at the KD Center from 5-7 pm.

Don’t miss out on Christmas in Eldon!

When: Saturday, December 5, 2009
Where: Eldon, IA 52554
Contact: Jessica Strom, 641-652-3352, aghc@iowatelecom.net

On the web this week...

Anybody speak French (I think)? This weeks find is a link to the following article: "Histoire culturelle: Vous avez dit icĂ´ne? (American Gothic: The extraordinary odyssey of America’s most loved—and reviled—painting)" If you scroll down you will find it in English. I thought it was very neat to find our house and painting discussed and promoted internationally.
The story of American Gothic begins with a trim white cottage in Eldon, Iowa, that Wood, an Iowa-born artist with European training, spotted from a car window in August 1930.* He decided to paint the house—built in the“carpenter Gothic” style, which applied the lofty architecture of European cathedrals to flimsy American frame houses—along with “the kind of people I fancied should live in that house.” READ MORE.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

On the web this week...

I have a few photos to pass on. This first one is called "Tourists at the American Gothic House," but it isn't of your typical tourist. You can check it out here on Flickr.

The second set of images are of a local Barn Quilt using our Gothic Window as a model. They will even take custom orders if you are interested in having your own.















Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving weekend!

Friday, November 20, 2009

On the web this week...

This first link is to a well written essay about the American Gothic House and its significance. David K Leff visited this last summer. He is an essayist, poet and lecturer, and according to his blog, he likes to discover the commonplace world at hand, while exploring wonders hidden in plain sight. Here is "Stepping in the Picture."

On a recent trip to Iowa I visited a familiar place to which I’d never been. Though it’s hidden on a back road in the sleepy town of Eldon, it’s a place most Americans and many people around the word would recognize almost instantly. READ MORE

This second piece comes from Jolen Whitworth from Leeds, England. She visited earlier this week, and shared that she had written a poem inspired by "American Gothic." This may not be what you would think of when thinking of our favorite painting, but it is interesting to see the different inspiration it produces. Here is "A Murder of Crows (Through the Crosshairs)."

Marblesque eyes along the copper horizon. READ MORE
*Note about the poem - a "murder" is what a group of crows is sometimes referred to as.

Friday, November 6, 2009

On the web this week...

This first blog entry was in response to the blog entry I shared last week.

Grant Wood, American Gothic. 1930, oil on board.

My fellow art history blogger N.C. recently wrote an excellent post on Grant Wood's ubiquitous American masterpiece. It inspired me to feature it myself.

This is probably the American Mona Lisa, or at the very least Edvard Munch's The Scream. You've seen this pose parodied inThe Rocky Horror Picture Show, on Green Acres, and if you've ever been to Washington, DC on postcards featuring the President and First Lady (whomever they may be at the time). It's disgusting; wait about five hundred years and someone will take a print of American Gothic, draw a mustache on the wife and give it a catchy title that implies that the farmer has a hot ass. (If you're one of those smart alecks who's crying out "Hey, that's his daughter, not his wife!" then your concern will be addressed soon.) READ MORE

This next blog entry wasn't posted this week, or even just discovered this week, but I thought you might enjoy it as well.

AMERICAN GOTHIC PARODIES
A COLLECTION OF PARODIES OF THE 1930 GRANT WOOD PAINTING, AMERICAN GOTHIC, BASED ON MY GRANDMOTHER'S COLLECTION. SHE USED TO TAPE THEM UP IN HER BASEMENT AND ASKED ME TO SHARE THEM WITH THE WORLD.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2009
Mortgage Foreclosure American Gothic

Monday, November 2, 2009

On the web this week...

KTVO came out and did a short story on our Halloween Party this weekend, and a blogger chose "American Gothic" for her blog "Inadvertently Art."

Festivities were held around the American Gothic House in Eldon, Iowa on Saturday.
Saturday, October 31, 2009 at 10:04 p.m.

ELDON, IOWA -- The iconic house is a prominent feature in Grant Wood's 1930 painting, "American Gothic," and today the structure is a historic landmark. Throughout Saturday afternoon, young trick-or-treaters took part in games and enjoyed an array of treats. READ MORE.


SATURDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2009

Grant Wood fills you with questions.

All right, if you tell me you have never seen this picture, or at least a reference to this picture... you either are lying are live in a shoe box. If you just haven't seen it, here's your chance. I present to you.....American Gothic, enjoy as you will never be the same. READ MORE.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A New Dentist/Sister American Gothic Combo


“It felt like a very historic event,” Jeff says.

“We had a real nice day,” Justin says about the trip to Eldon, Iowa, where they stood in front of the restored house Grant Wood had seen in 1930 and used as the backdrop.

After they dressed in period clothes available at the house, photographer Mike Schlotterback lined them up just so. He even had Justin rest the pitchfork on a piece of wood so it would be the right height.

“She’s a short little thing,” Justin chuckles about his co-model. “You know, in American Gothic that woman is pretty tall. So she stood on a box.”

Click on the link to read the full article

Friday, October 2, 2009

Governor Culver honors Grant Wood with Iowa Award today

DES MOINES – Governor Chet Culver will travel to Iowa City for a special ceremony honoring Grant Wood as the latest recipient of the Iowa Award. Governor Culver announced in August that the Anamosa-born legendary artist Grant Wood, who died in 1942 at the age of 50, would be receiving the award.

“The Iowa Award is our state’s highest civilian honor, and goes to those individuals who embody what it means to be an Iowan,” said Governor Culver. “Through his work, Grant Wood was able to capture the spirit and beauty of our state, and shared that image with the world. Grant Wood is a true Iowan who never lost his love for our state, and I am proud to honor him with the Iowa Award.”

Friday, August 21, 2009

GOVERNOR CULVER ANNOUNCES GRANT WOOD TO BE ‘IOWA AWARD’ HONOREE

IOWA CITY –At a morning ceremony at the historic Grant Wood home in Iowa City, Governor Chet Culver announced that the 2009 “Iowa Award” will be presented in memory of Anamosa-born legendary artist Grant Wood. Wood, who died in 1942 at the age of 50, is best known for his representations of rural Midwestern life. His masterpiece “American Gothic” is one of the most-viewed works of art in the world.
“Grant Wood’s work continues to speak to countless Iowans and Americans,” said Governor Culver. “Grant Wood is an American icon who stayed true to his Iowa roots. It is my pleasure to announce the 2009 ‘Iowa Award’ in his memory.”
Governor Culver made the announcement of this year’s Iowa Award recipient in Iowa City, where Grant Wood spent much of his life. The award will be officially presented in honor of Grant Wood at a formal ceremony later this fall.
The Iowa Award represents the state’s highest citizen award. The Iowa Centennial Memorial Foundation, which was established in 1948, created the award to honor past and present Iowans who exemplify the virtues of citizens in our state. Each honoree is selected by the Iowa Centennial Memorial Foundation, which is composed of the Governor, Treasurer of State, Attorney General, President of the Board of Regents, former Governors who have remained residents of Iowa, and citizen trustees.
Below is a list of Iowa Award recipients:
1951 President Herbert Hoover (engineer, humanitarian, author, and U.S. President)
1955 Jay N. Darling (cartoonist, conservationist, Pulitzer Prize winner)
1961 Dr. Frank Spedding (educator, chemist, worked on the first atomic bomb)
1961 Dr. James Van Allen (educator, physicist, rocket space exploration)
1966 Henry A. Wallace (U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Vice President of the United States)
1970 Mamie Eisenhower (First Lady, wife of President Dwight D. Eisenhower)
1975 Dr. Karl King (composer, bandmaster)
1978 Dr. Norman Borlaug (crop geneticist, worked to end world hunger, Nobel Peace Prize winner)
1980 Monsignor Luigi Liguitti (director, National Catholic Rural Life Conference)
1984 George Gallup (founder of the Gallup Poll)
1988 Meredith Willson (composer, musician)
1992 Carrie Lane Chapman Catt (leader in suffrage movement and for world peace)
1996 Simon Estes (international opera singer)
1999 Maurice Lasansky (artist, educator)
1999 John Atanasoff (physicist, mathematician, educator, inventor of the first electronic digital computer)
2001 John Ruan (innovative entrepreneur, philanthropist, World Food Prize sponsor)
2002 George Washington Carver (internationally renowned scientist and humanitarian)
2005 Robert D. Ray (Governor, statesman, mayor, university president, lawyer, insurance executive)
2006 Harry Hopkins (Presidential advisor)
2009 Grant Wood (artist)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Lt. Gov. Patty Judge Visits

We just left Eldon, where we had a nice visit at one of the most famous houses in the world...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

American Gothic Photo Workshop Rescheduled

The American Gothic Photo Workshop originally scheduled for Thursday, July 23 has been rescheduled to Thursday, July 30 at 7:00 pm. Come learn every nuance of taking the perfect reproduction of your own “American Gothic” photo or parody in front of the house. Learn why it is more important how and where the photographer stands than where the models stand—thus debunking the notion that there is a perfect spot for the couple to stand.

Step one in taking the perfect reproduction: Have the couple stand in the middle of the concrete circle. Step two: the photographer stands in front of the couple and physically moves forward or backward until the couple’s heads meet the roofline of the house. Sometimes it is necessary to squat as well depending on how tall the couple is. Step three: only after the photographer has the camera correctly positioned so that the house and the heads are in correct proportion does the photographer use the zoom to crop the image.

Remember to make sure that the window is in between the couples heads, check to make sure that the pitchfork is not in front of any ones face, and make sure you don’t crop off the peek of the house. Ideally, the bottom of the image will be about waist height just below where the gentleman grips the pitchfork. And most important, don’t forget to have fun!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Gothic Days one week away!

39th Annual Eldon Gothic Days

June 12-14, 2009

Announcing the Thirty-ninth American Gothic Days Schedule of Events!

Eldon— June 12-14, 2009 marks the thirty-ninth celebration of American Gothic Days in Eldon, Iowa. The slate of events includes some old favorites, such as Supper in the Park, Alumni Gathering, Little League Tournament, Used Book Sale, Parade, Craft Show, Quilt Show and Raffle, Free Kids’ Games, Barbequed Chicken Dinner, Kids’ Pedal Pull, Cardboard Boat Races and Mud Volleyball Tournament, as well as some more recent new comers over the last few years, such as a Buckskinner Camp Out, 5K Walk and Run, Ottumwa Radio Control Flyers, American Gothic House Art Contest, Knock Out Basketball Tournament, Antique Appraiser Show, 20 Mile Bike Ride and Ladies’ Nail Driving Contest. Read on for more details!

FRIDAY
Supper in the Park will be held Friday evening, June 12 from 5-7 pm at the “Rock” Park downtown. Dinner will feature Roasted Pork. No need to make reservations, just show up and contribute to the free will donation. All proceeds benefit Gothic Area Tourism of Eldon (G.A.T.E.), a non-profit organization that supports improvement projects and promotion of Eldon.

The Eldon High School Alumni Gathering will be held at the Wapello County Regional Fairgrounds Wapello Building on Friday, June 12 from 5-7 pm. Reservations are required. This meal is served by the Eldon TTT and is for graduates of the Eldon High School which closed in 1960. Students who attended and graduated from the school travel back to the area every two years to greet old friends.

There will be a Boys’ Little League Tournament beginning Friday, June 12 at 5:30 pm at the Eldon Ball Field and will continue on through Saturday, June 13. For more information contact Jason Day at 799-5204.

SATURDAY
Saturday, June 13 begins bright and early with a 5K Walk / Run beginning at the American Gothic House Center at 7:30 am. Registration will begin at 6:45 am. The route will take participants down the hill through the Wapello County Regional Fairgrounds, along the Des Moines River, then back through town to the American Gothic House Center via the American Gothic Park and Trail. Parents are encouraged to take their small children with them using strollers. Registration is $18.50 and includes a t-shirt, a map of the route, medals for both men and women for first, second and third place winners for each age category and a trophy for the overall winner for men and women. This event is sponsored by Libertyville Savings Bank, Kremer Funeral Home and Crossroad Graphics.

The Friends of the Library host their Used Book Sale again this year in the Library Basement from 9 am – 12 pm on Saturday, June 13.

Everything stops for the Parade on Saturday morning beginning at 10 am. This year the Parade will be announced by Lee Muntz of Fairfield. The Grand Marshall will be William Helmick with honored guests Juanita Sumner and Christine Stevenson. Allen and Rosie Morrison will ride in the parade as this year’s American Gothic couple. Other entries include the City Council and Mayor of Eldon, Drifters’ Classic Car Club, local business and church floats, Ottumwa and Fairfield Shriner’s, Baseball and Softball Teams, Scouts and Flag bearers, Eldon Alumni with their float and Cheerful Chuckles the Clown. If you would like to be in the parade, contact Linda Pool at 652-3326. All entries are welcome and there is no cost to enter. Entries will be judged that morning with the winners announced during the parade. All entries will receive a participation ribbon and there will be cash prize for first, second and third place. The parade will begin assembling on the street east of the Assembly of God Church at 9 am. The Assembly of God Church will host a hospitality room with bottled water and restrooms during this time.

The Ottumwa Radio Control Flyers will be at Franklin Farms from 10 am – 3 pm on Saturday. Come watch and see fly demonstrations of radio control float planes, sea planes, and land based airplanes.

The Craft Show continues to expand this year with displays of Frisbee Spin Art, Wood Burning, flags and clothing. Crafters will be on display along the “Rock” Park downtown from 10 am – 4 pm on Saturday, June 13. If you would like to sign up for the Craft Show, contact Shirley Stacey at 652-3339. If you enjoy crafts, you might also enjoy the Quilt Show and Raffle at the KD Center from 10 am – 2:30 pm, with the drawing taking place for the Quilt Raffle at 2:30 pm. The Quilt was quilted by the In Stitches Quilt Club and donated to G.A.T.E. Tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5. All proceeds go to support G.A.T.E. sponsored activities.

Kids can participate in the Wards Backyard Circus hosted by Cheerful Chuckles the Clown at the KD Center from 11 am – 12 pm or take part in the Free Kids’ Games from 11 am – 1 pm at the KD Center.

The famous Barbequed Chicken Dinner will take place at the KD Center from 11:30 am – 1 pm, with hamburgers and side dishes available. You can also enjoy brats and hot dogs from the Pepsi Wagon or check out Cindy’s Cafe downtown.

The Buckskinners Camp Out is back for the day on Saturday on the Rock Island Train Depot Grounds, and the Rock Island Train Depot, McHaffey Opera House, and the American Gothic House Center will be open all weekend. More specifically, the American Gothic House Center will be open from 11 am – 5 pm on Saturday for an open house and exhibit for the American Gothic House Art Contest. See what area amateur and professional artists can do when inspired by the same house that produced “American Gothic.” Art work will be on display Saturday and Sunday, June 13-14. First and second place winners for each division win a cash prize for a total amount of $300, the same amount won by Grant Wood when he submitted his painting and won third place at the 1930 Art Institute of Chicago art show. This event is sponsored by G.A.T.E.

The Kids’ Pedal Pull is here again for kids of all ages at the KD Center. There will be a trophy for first, second and third place winners. Registration begins on Saturday, June 13 at 12 pm and the pedal pull begins at 12:30 pm. There is no charge to participate.

New this year for older children is a Knock Out Basketball Tournament. The competition will take place from 1-3 pm at the KD Courts. Contact Dustin LaRue at 799-3638 with questions.

Also new this year is an American Gothic Days Antique Appraiser Show styled after your favorite Antiques Road Show on Saturday, June 13 from 1-4 pm at the Wapello County Regional Fair Grounds Wapello Building. Bring your favorite two items per person to be appraised by one of the following appraisers: Richard Alexander, a Certified Appraisers Guild of America member with specialties in Country Store Collectibles and Advertising Items, Robert Keller with specialties in Coins and Currency, Dr. George Morris, an International Society of Appraisers member with specialties in Quality Antiques and Old Persian Carpets, Robert Norman with specialties in Art Work, and William Taylor with specialties in Coins and Currency, Military Collectibles and Small Antiques. Cost is $4 per item with a limit of two items per person.

The fun and sometimes hilarious Cardboard Boat Races will take place at the Wapello County Regional Fairgrounds Lagoon at 4 pm with registration beginning at 3:30 pm. Cash prizes will be awarded to the first, second and third place winners.

SUNDAY

American Gothic Bike Ride begins early Sunday morning of Gothic Days marking the second annual bike ride this year to Floris and back for 20 miles. For the adventurous and brave, continue on to the Highway 63 intersection before turning around for a 26 mile ride. The ride starts at 7:30 am on June 14, leaving from the American Gothic House Center. Registration is $18.50, and includes a t-shirt, a map and post-ride pizza. This event is sponsored by Libertyville Savings Bank and Riverside Cyclery of Ottumwa.

The Mud Volleyball Tournaments continues once again, so stop by the KD Center on Sunday, June 14 at 1 pm to encourage your favorite teams. For more information, contact Lori Franklin or Mel Ostrander.

And last, but not least, try out your skill at the Ladies’ Nail Driving Contest, a new event for the ladies. $5 will give you a chance for a cash prize awarded to the first and second place winners. You can enter that day.

Who: Gothic Area Tourism of Eldon
What: 39th American Gothic Days
When: Friday-Sunday, June 12-14
Where: Eldon, IA 52554
Contacts: Jessica Strom, 641-652-3352, aghc@iowatelecom.net
Linda Durflinger, 641-799-5149
Shirley Stacey, 641-652-3339

Gothic Days one week away!

39th Annual Eldon Gothic Days

June 12-14, 2009

Announcing the Thirty-ninth American Gothic Days Schedule of Events!

Eldon— June 12-14, 2009 marks the thirty-ninth celebration of American Gothic Days in Eldon, Iowa. The slate of events includes some old favorites, such as Supper in the Park, Alumni Gathering, Little League Tournament, Used Book Sale, Parade, Craft Show, Quilt Show and Raffle, Free Kids’ Games, Barbequed Chicken Dinner, Kids’ Pedal Pull, Cardboard Boat Races and Mud Volleyball Tournament, as well as some more recent new comers over the last few years, such as a Buckskinner Camp Out, 5K Walk and Run, Ottumwa Radio Control Flyers, American Gothic House Art Contest, Knock Out Basketball Tournament, Antique Appraiser Show, 20 Mile Bike Ride and Ladies’ Nail Driving Contest. Read on for more details!

FRIDAY
Supper in the Park will be held Friday evening, June 12 from 5-7 pm at the “Rock” Park downtown. Dinner will feature Roasted Pork. No need to make reservations, just show up and contribute to the free will donation. All proceeds benefit Gothic Area Tourism of Eldon (G.A.T.E.), a non-profit organization that supports improvement projects and promotion of Eldon.

The Eldon High School Alumni Gathering will be held at the Wapello County Regional Fairgrounds Wapello Building on Friday, June 12 from 5-7 pm. Reservations are required. This meal is served by the Eldon TTT and is for graduates of the Eldon High School which closed in 1960. Students who attended and graduated from the school travel back to the area every two years to greet old friends.

There will be a Boys’ Little League Tournament beginning Friday, June 12 at 5:30 pm at the Eldon Ball Field and will continue on through Saturday, June 13. For more information contact Jason Day at 799-5204.

SATURDAY
Saturday, June 13 begins bright and early with a 5K Walk / Run beginning at the American Gothic House Center at 7:30 am. Registration will begin at 6:45 am. The route will take participants down the hill through the Wapello County Regional Fairgrounds, along the Des Moines River, then back through town to the American Gothic House Center via the American Gothic Park and Trail. Parents are encouraged to take their small children with them using strollers. Registration is $18.50 and includes a t-shirt, a map of the route, medals for both men and women for first, second and third place winners for each age category and a trophy for the overall winner for men and women. This event is sponsored by Libertyville Savings Bank, Kremer Funeral Home and Crossroad Graphics.

The Friends of the Library host their Used Book Sale again this year in the Library Basement from 9 am – 12 pm on Saturday, June 13.

Everything stops for the Parade on Saturday morning beginning at 10 am. This year the Parade will be announced by Lee Muntz of Fairfield. The Grand Marshall will be William Helmick with honored guests Juanita Sumner and Christine Stevenson. Allen and Rosie Morrison will ride in the parade as this year’s American Gothic couple. Other entries include the City Council and Mayor of Eldon, Drifters’ Classic Car Club, local business and church floats, Ottumwa and Fairfield Shriner’s, Baseball and Softball Teams, Scouts and Flag bearers, Eldon Alumni with their float and Cheerful Chuckles the Clown. If you would like to be in the parade, contact Linda Pool at 652-3326. All entries are welcome and there is no cost to enter. Entries will be judged that morning with the winners announced during the parade. All entries will receive a participation ribbon and there will be cash prize for first, second and third place. The parade will begin assembling on the street east of the Assembly of God Church at 9 am. The Assembly of God Church will host a hospitality room with bottled water and restrooms during this time.

The Ottumwa Radio Control Flyers will be at Franklin Farms from 10 am – 3 pm on Saturday. Come watch and see fly demonstrations of radio control float planes, sea planes, and land based airplanes.

The Craft Show continues to expand this year with displays of Frisbee Spin Art, Wood Burning, flags and clothing. Crafters will be on display along the “Rock” Park downtown from 10 am – 4 pm on Saturday, June 13. If you would like to sign up for the Craft Show, contact Shirley Stacey at 652-3339. If you enjoy crafts, you might also enjoy the Quilt Show and Raffle at the KD Center from 10 am – 2:30 pm, with the drawing taking place for the Quilt Raffle at 2:30 pm. The Quilt was quilted by the In Stitches Quilt Club and donated to G.A.T.E. Tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5. All proceeds go to support G.A.T.E. sponsored activities.

Kids can participate in the Wards Backyard Circus hosted by Cheerful Chuckles the Clown at the KD Center from 11 am – 12 pm or take part in the Free Kids’ Games from 11 am – 1 pm at the KD Center.

The famous Barbequed Chicken Dinner will take place at the KD Center from 11:30 am – 1 pm, with hamburgers and side dishes available. You can also enjoy brats and hot dogs from the Pepsi Wagon or check out Cindy’s Cafe downtown.

The Buckskinners Camp Out is back for the day on Saturday on the Rock Island Train Depot Grounds, and the Rock Island Train Depot, McHaffey Opera House, and the American Gothic House Center will be open all weekend. More specifically, the American Gothic House Center will be open from 11 am – 5 pm on Saturday for an open house and exhibit for the American Gothic House Art Contest. See what area amateur and professional artists can do when inspired by the same house that produced “American Gothic.” Art work will be on display Saturday and Sunday, June 13-14. First and second place winners for each division win a cash prize for a total amount of $300, the same amount won by Grant Wood when he submitted his painting and won third place at the 1930 Art Institute of Chicago art show. This event is sponsored by G.A.T.E.

The Kids’ Pedal Pull is here again for kids of all ages at the KD Center. There will be a trophy for first, second and third place winners. Registration begins on Saturday, June 13 at 12 pm and the pedal pull begins at 12:30 pm. There is no charge to participate.

New this year for older children is a Knock Out Basketball Tournament. The competition will take place from 1-3 pm at the KD Courts. Contact Dustin LaRue at 799-3638 with questions.

Also new this year is an American Gothic Days Antique Appraiser Show styled after your favorite Antiques Road Show on Saturday, June 13 from 1-4 pm at the Wapello County Regional Fair Grounds Wapello Building. Bring your favorite two items per person to be appraised by one of the following appraisers: Richard Alexander, a Certified Appraisers Guild of America member with specialties in Country Store Collectibles and Advertising Items, Robert Keller with specialties in Coins and Currency, Dr. George Morris, an International Society of Appraisers member with specialties in Quality Antiques and Old Persian Carpets, Robert Norman with specialties in Art Work, and William Taylor with specialties in Coins and Currency, Military Collectibles and Small Antiques. Cost is $4 per item with a limit of two items per person.

The fun and sometimes hilarious Cardboard Boat Races will take place at the Wapello County Regional Fairgrounds Lagoon at 4 pm with registration beginning at 3:30 pm. Cash prizes will be awarded to the first, second and third place winners.

SUNDAY

American Gothic Bike Ride begins early Sunday morning of Gothic Days marking the second annual bike ride this year to Floris and back for 20 miles. For the adventurous and brave, continue on to the Highway 63 intersection before turning around for a 26 mile ride. The ride starts at 7:30 am on June 14, leaving from the American Gothic House Center. Registration is $18.50, and includes a t-shirt, a map and post-ride pizza. This event is sponsored by Libertyville Savings Bank and Riverside Cyclery of Ottumwa.

The Mud Volleyball Tournaments continues once again, so stop by the KD Center on Sunday, June 14 at 1 pm to encourage your favorite teams. For more information, contact Lori Franklin or Mel Ostrander.

And last, but not least, try out your skill at the Ladies’ Nail Driving Contest, a new event for the ladies. $5 will give you a chance for a cash prize awarded to the first and second place winners. You can enter that day.

Who: Gothic Area Tourism of Eldon
What: 39th American Gothic Days
When: Friday-Sunday, June 12-14
Where: Eldon, IA 52554
Contacts: Jessica Strom, 641-652-3352, aghc@iowatelecom.net
Linda Durflinger, 641-799-5149
Shirley Stacey, 641-652-3339

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sprucing up the American Gothic House Center

Working on some landscaping plans for the visitor center. KTVO did a news story about it. Click on the link to read more.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Cardinal students help prepare seedlings for Gothic House project

ELDON — The dozen or so students from Cardinal High School spent the morning with pencils in hand, something that probably sounds so routine it’s not even worth commenting about...

Click on the link to read more.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Calling all troupes for a Native Iowa Flower Planting in Eldon

Eldon— This June when school lets out and you are wondering what to do with your long beautiful sunny days, consider packing your shovels, gloves, hat and a snack to help plant some native Iowa flowers at the American Gothic House Center.

Thanks to Ostrander Flowers & Greenhouses for getting the seedlings started, there are currently more plants than the center has hands to plant. Please consider organizing a group to help out and get a tour of the visitor center at the same time!

The list of over 30 native plant species to be added to the landscape include Brown Eyed Susan, Sky Blue Aster, Evening Primrose, Upland White Aster, Yellow Coneflower, Anise Hyssop, Mountain Mint, Prairie Blazing Star, Prairie Smoke, Showy Goldenrod, Butterfly Milkweed and much more.

In order to give these flowers a good chance for survival, the plantings will take place in the late afternoon. For troupes wanting to get a tour of the visitor center, these can be scheduled before the planting session.

Group trips to the visitor center include an introduction and discussion on the painting ”American Gothic,” a history of the house in the background, the story of how Grant Wood made his way to Eldon and the discovery of the house, showing of an educational film, and the opportunity for pictures in cut outs or costumes in front of the house.

Please contact the American Gothic House Center at 641-652-3352 for more information, or visit our website at www.americangothichouse.net.
  • Who: American Gothic House Center
  • What: Native Iowa Flower Planting
  • When: To be scheduled for late afternoons between June 2-11
  • Where: American Gothic House Center; 300 American Gothic St; Eldon, IA 52554
  • Contact: Jessica Strom, 641-652-3352, aghc@iowatelecom.net

Monday, May 18, 2009

New American Gothic House Exhibit!

Eldon— This Friday, May 22 marks the opening of a new summer exhibit about the American Gothic House. The exhibit follows the house and the people who have lived in it through the years as well as the community support it has received to preserve it. The new exhibit was funded in part by grant monies received from the Alliant Energy Foundation.

Join us for an opening reception Friday, May 22 from 6-7 pm at the American Gothic House Center.
  • Who: American Gothic House Center
  • What: New Summer Exhibit
  • When: Friday, May 22, 6-7 pm
  • Where: American Gothic House Center; 300 American Gothic St; Eldon, IA 52554
  • Contact: Jessica Strom, 641-652-3352, aghc@iowatelecom.net

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A love of horses and history


ELDON — Dennis Brouse is the kid who grew up watching TV’s horses — Fury, Zorro’s Tornado, Roy Rogers’ Trigger and the Lone Ranger’s Silver.

Now he’s the adult who’s found a way to make money doing what he loves to do — work with horses...

Brouse and his team were at the American Gothic House Tuesday in Eldon to film a segment for next year’s season.

Click on the link to read more.

Friday, May 1, 2009

New York Times story on Gay Marriage in Iowa

"ELDON, Iowa — As of Monday, gay couples will be allowed to marry in places like this small town that once served as the background for Grant Wood’s “American Gothic,” the painter’s famous depiction of stern, traditional Midwesterners."

Click on the title to see the rest of the story.

Friday, April 24, 2009

2009 American Gothic House Art Contest

Eldon—American Gothic House Center and Gothic Area Tourism of Eldon (GATE) join in sponsoring the fourth annual American Gothic House Art Contest during the 2009 American Gothic Days, June 12-14.

The art contest celebrates the American Gothic House used as the background in Grant Wood’s most famous painting American Gothic. Entries must include the American Gothic House in their work. The contest serves to promote greater awareness of the beauty of the little white board and batten house with its gothic window.

Submitted works will be returned. Minimum size is 8” x 10”—no maximum size. Contest is open to artists in the following five divisions:
  • Kindergarten through Fifth Grade
  • Sixth Grade through Eighth Grade
  • Ninth Grade through Twelfth Grade
  • Adult Amateur
  • Adult Professional
Prize money in the amount of $40 for 1st place and $20 for 2nd place will be awarded for each division, for a total of $300 in prize money—the same amount awarded to Grant Wood when he won third place for American Gothic at the art show at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Judging will take place Friday evening, with the exhibition planned for Saturday, June 13 from 11 am to 5 pm and Sunday, June 14 from 1 to 4 pm at the American Gothic House Center in Eldon, Iowa.

Official entry forms are due by May 15. Artwork must be delivered by June 1. For entry forms, complete rules and further information, contact Jessica Strom; 300 American Gothic St; Eldon, IA 52554; 641-652-3352; aghc@iowatelecom.net.

GATE is a nonprofit community betterment organization and no entry fee will be sought from submissions or participants.
  • Who: Gothic Area Tourism of Eldon; American Gothic House Center
  • What: 2009 American Gothic House Art Contest
  • When: June 12-14 during the 2009 Eldon American Gothic Days
  • Where: American Gothic House Center; 300 American Gothic St; Eldon, IA 52554
  • Contact: Jessica Strom, 641-652-3352, aghc@iowatelecom.net

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Gothic May Brunch

Eldon—The American Gothic House Center is hosting its fourth annual American Gothic May Brunch Saturday, May 2 from 10:00 – 11:30 am at the Eldon KD Center.

This year’s entertainment is performer Beverly Graves from Pella, Iowa who will keep you smiling with her quick wit and humor. So after the meal, sit back and be ready to laugh while enjoying the “Many Faces of Beverly Graves.”

Come one, come all and come hungry! The menu includes Spinach Quiche, Dream Coffee Cake and a serving of fresh fruit served with Coffee and Ice Tea. Seating is limited, so advance reservations are requested! Tickets are available at the American Gothic House Center and are $6.00 per person.
  • Who: American Gothic House Center
  • What: American Gothic May Brunch
  • When: Saturday, May 2, 10:00 – 11:30 am
  • Where: KD Center; 300 KD Ave; Eldon, IA 52554
  • Contact: Jessica Strom, 641-652-3352, aghc@iowatelecom.net

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

"Grant Wood and Frank Lloyd Wright: Little Houses on the Prairie" lecture by Roy Behrens


Eldon— The American Gothic House Center received funding from Humanities Iowa, a private, non-profit state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, to host a free lecture on Grant Wood and Frank Lloyd Wright: Little Houses on the Prairie by Roy Behrens at 6:00 pm on Thursday, April 23 at the Eldon Library Hall.

Grant Wood and Frank Lloyd Wright had similar influences: Japanese-inspired aesthetic principles, the Arts and Crafts Movement and Gothic Revival architecture. During this slide-illustrated, 45-minute talk, participants are invited to explore the parallels between the works of Wood and Wright, and how artists express human values, whatever the medium.

Roy R. Behrens is a professor of Art at the University of Northern Iowa, he teaches graphic design and design history. He is an editor and writer for periodicals and books and his writings have been featured on Nova (PBS), Equinox (BBC), Living in Iowa (IPTV) and BBC Radio. His most recent book is False Colors: Art, Design and Modern Camouflage (2002).

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

  • Who: American Gothic House Center
  • What: “Grant Wood and Frank Lloyd Wright: Little Houses on the Prairie” lecture by Roy Behrens
  • When: Thursday, April 23 at 6:00 pm
  • Where: Eldon Library Hall
  • Contact: Jessica Strom, 641-652-3352, aghc@iowatelecom.net

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Landmarks close because of budget woes; Gothic House stays safe

In response to an article in the Des Moines Register Wednesday, March 25, Jeff Hutton from the Ottumwa Courier helps us set the story straight.

"ELDON — Several landmarks around the state are targeted to close because of state budget woes, but the American Gothic House and the American Gothic House Center are just fine, thank you."

Click on the title link to see the rest of the article.

Monday, March 23, 2009

IPTV Premiere of THIS AMERICAN GOTHIC


Eldon— Iowa Public Television to show Sasha Waters Freyer’s documentary This American Gothic at 5:40 pm on Sunday, March 29.

THIS AMERICAN GOTHIC is a quirky portrait of Eldon, Iowa, population 998, 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 Visitor Center to attract tourists and save their struggling community.

The ongoing fascination with the painting "American Gothic" suggests hunger for stories from rural America that THIS AMERICAN GOTHIC both taps into and exposes. What do these stories and images from the heartland symbolize? Why are they still so powerful, even in parody or myth? THIS AMERICAN GOTHIC explores the poignant irony of a rural America abandoned to economic hardship trying to rebuild itself through tourism that glorifies a happier, if largely imaginary, country past.

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.

  • Who: Iowa Public Television
  • What: TV Premiere of THIS AMERICAN GOTHIC Documentary
  • When: Sunday, March 29 at 5:40 PM
  • Where: Your TV
  • Contact: Jessica Strom, 641-652-3352, aghc@iowatelecom.net

Monday, March 16, 2009

American Gothic celebrated in Eldon

Eldon— The American Gothic House Center celebrates the visit of American Gothic to the Des Moines Art Center with a spring cleaning sale, bus trip and informal lecture from art scholar Wands Corn.

From now through Saturday, March 21, select items at the visitor center are on sale up to 50% off. On Saturday, March 21, enjoy the first ever spring cleaning sale with 10% off the entire store from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.

On Sunday, March 22 there is still room to join the bus trip to see the painting in person. Ottumwa Transit will depart Eldon from the American Gothic House at 11:30 am and they will depart Ottumwa from Bridge View Center at 12:00 noon. Cost of $15.00 covers the bus fare.

The celebration winds down with art scholar Wanda Corn, who will visit Eldon on Wednesday, March 25. She will speak to American Gothic House Center volunteers and supporters at 4:30 pm at the Eldon Library Hall. This informal lecture is free and open to the public. Corn is one of the most eminent scholars of late-19th- and early-20th-century American art and author of “Grant Wood’s American Gothic: Regionalist, Modernist, Internationalist.”

Corn will deliver her formal lecture at Levitt Auditorium in Des Moines on Thursday, March 26 at 6:30 pm. For more information or to make a reservation, please contact Jessica Strom at 641-652-3352.

  • What: Spring Cleaning Sale
  • When: Now through March 21, with 10% off March 21 from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Where: American Gothic House Center

  • What: Des Moines Bus Trip to see American Gothic
  • When: Sunday, March 22 day trip – 11:30 am – 9:00 pm
  • Where: Depart from the American Gothic House Center & Bridge View Center

  • What: Wanda Corn Informal Lecturer
  • When: Wednesday, March 25 at 4:30 pm
  • Where: Eldon Library Hall

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Art Institute admission raised to $18

"To gaze on Grant Wood's American Gothic will soon cost visitors to the Art Institute of Chicago $18."

Iowan's need to take advantage of having "American Gothic" at the Des Moines Art Center. Their doors are open free to the public, making this a limited opportunity to see the painting for free.

The American Gothic House Center will be taking a bus trip to see the painting on March 22. There will be a bus leaving from Eldon as well as Ottumwa. There are nearly 10 spots left for each bus.

Friday, February 20, 2009

"Was Iowa ever American Gothic?"

"The house is still there, but is the much-parodied icon still relevant to the Midwest?" Bill Glauber tells the story.

"To really understand the grip the painting has on the imagination of Iowans, and by extension Midwesterners, it pays to visit Eldon, population 956, around 100 miles southeast of Des Moines. Here are the keepers of the “American Gothic” flame, the people who live with the original home that forms the backdrop to the painting."

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

"American Gothic" Through a Sontag Lens

Interesting comments on "American Gothic."

"American Gothic has minimized the world's view of Iowa and Midwestern lifestyles forever. For people who have never visited Iowa but have seen American Gothic, Iowa seems to be a simple place with equally as simple, good (although not too happy), and hard-working people. To some, most Iowans live in a farmhouse in small towns like West Branch, and attend church every Sunday (if they notice the steeple in the background of Wood's painting that is). This may be true of SOME Iowans, but not ALL Iowans."

Friday, February 13, 2009

Anniversary of Grant Wood's Birthday

Grant Wood was born on a small farm near Anamosa, Iowa on February 13, 1891.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Key to Wood’s famous painting is adaptability

"ELDON — The American Gothic House Center will sponsor a trip to Des Moines on March 22 to view the original “American Gothic” painting."

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Grant Wood Birthday Soup Smorgasbord

Saturday, February 7 was a beautiful day! About 50 people came out to the Eldon KD Center to enjoy some hot soup in celebration of the 118th Anniversary of Grant Wood's Birthday. The fundraiser brought in over $300 to help support projects for the American Gothic House Center.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Quiet Winter Day

It's a quiet winter day today at the American Gothic House Center...yet we still managed to get a couple of visitors from Delaware!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

NEW DATE for this years Soup Smorgasbord

Eldon— Is there anything better than a bowl of steaming hot soup when it’s cold outside? We don’t think so.

Join the American Gothic House Center for some belly filling soup and soul satisfying company Saturday, February 7 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Eldon KD Center.

Our homemade soup smorgasbord will offer many to choose from, featuring potato cheese, chili, chicken and rice, ham and bean, broccoli cheese, and vegetable beef. As a side, take your pick from a variety of freshly baked breads, crisp vegetables and crackers.

In celebration of the 118th anniversary of Grant Wood’s birthday top it off with a piece of birthday cake while sipping on a hot cup of coffee.

Free will donations benefit projects for the American Gothic House Center.

“There is nothing like a bowl of hot soup, its wisp of aromatic steam teasing the nostrils into quivering anticipation.” -Louis P. De Gouy, The Soup Book (1949)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Exhibit will make you proud of heritage

I am excited to learn that the original “American Gothic” is coming to Iowa.

As readers travel to Des Moines to see the famous painting and the excellent exhibit at the Des Moines Art Center, I hope they remember that Eldon is the home of the house that inspired the painting.

The current exhibit at the American Gothic House Center teaches visitors about how Grant Wood came to visit Eldon, which led to his discovery of our little white house.

Please visit the center to brush up on our local history before traveling to see the original piece of art. It will make you proud of our southeast Iowa heritage.

Jessica Strom, Administrator
American Gothic House Center
300 American Gothic St.
Eldon