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


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,

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.