Thursday, November 4, 2010

What's the story with this new biography?

It has been years since a biography of Grant Wood was written, and the latest brings with it some controversy about Wood’s personal life. In preparation for author R. Tripp Evans’ presentations in Ottumwa and Eldon, I’ve discovered a few reviews in which Evans answers questions undoubtedly on all our minds.

“Why should anyone care about Wood’s sexual orientation?” asked Diana Nollen for Eastern Iowa Life.

“So why drag Wood's personal life into a modern-day culture war? Why not just appreciate his paintings on their artistic merit?” asked Michael Morain, Des Moines Register reporter.

There’s been so much talk about the author that ‘outted Grant Wood.’ Does the book acknowledge other equally significant aspects of Wood’s life which could have influenced his artwork and message? Evans gives his answer to this question in a Radio Iowa interview.

Deborah Solomon, author of the “Questions For” column in The Times Magazine, gave her opinion of Grant Wood, A Life in the New York Times last week. She referenced Eldon several times when analyzing American Gothic. (If you can’t view this article, you can sign up for a free online subscription to the NY Times—it only takes a few seconds.)

Evans will read an excerpt from his book and give a brief presentation at the Eldon Library Hall at 7 pm on Wednesday, November 10. There will be lots of time for discussion, so if you have more questions for the author, please bring them! If you can’t make it to Eldon, here’s a list of other lectures Evans is giving around the state.

What’s happening at the Center?

Last weekend’s Halloween party at the American Gothic House Center was attended by 61 children plus their parents. Here’s a huge thank you to all the volunteers, parents, and children who made the party a success! Kids made spider bracelets, vampire lollipops (a new take on the old ‘kleenex ghost’ lollipop), and frosted orange monster cookies. Party attendees raced to put a bib, overalls, and a jacket over their costumes and carry an ‘eyeball’ on a spoon across the lawn. A local wizard shared magic tricks, and many costumed children posed for a parody photo in front of the house. Look for pictures on our Facebook page!

Congratulations to our local game show winners! If you have not yet watched Loren and Mary Ellen Fligg’s Hollywood debut on Let’s Make a Deal, you can see the show here. Fast forward to the second half of the show to see what the Fliggs won!

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