Thursday, November 3, 2011

How far would you travel to see the American Gothic House?

Today started quite dreary in Eldon as the cold rain blew around outside my window at the American Gothic House Center. I thought to myself “Who would want to be out in this weather?”, but not too long after we opened for the day a car pulled up and a woman hurried inside from the blustery drizzle. Her name was Christy and she was from New Jersey (and worked in New York City). Now, of course we have visitors from all over the United States (and the world for that matter), but many of them come here as a stop during a road trip, or as a day trip from somewhere not too far away. Christy had no reason to come to Iowa except to fulfill her dream of seeing the American Gothic House.

She had business in Minnesota and thought that perhaps that is the closest she would ever be to the American Gothic House. She thought this might be her only chance so she made a plan to fly out of Des Moines instead of Minneapolis and got in her rental car and made the 8 hour trek to Eldon to carry out her plan. Christy is an art historian who specializes in historic architecture…which probably explains why she was so drawn to see the house!

The weather cleared up to take a few pictures in front of the house before she had to head down the road to make her flight out of Des Moines. Christy was so elated to visit that it definitely turned this gloomy day around!

In other news, UNI Professor Roy Behrens will be presenting “Looking Closer at Grant Wood: What Did He Do, and How Did He Do It?” on Thursday, November 17 at 7:00 pm at the Eldon Library Hall. The attention given to Wood’s most famous painting, American Gothic, often prevents us from focusing on his other accomplishments. How was he trained? What influenced him? Who in turn did he influence? What did he achieve in his life? This talk will include rare photographs of Wood, his students, and his contemporaries, accompanied by eyewitness stories about his creative process, his methods, his failings, his sense of humor, and the growth of his basic beliefs about art.

Funding for this presentation is provided by Humanities Iowa, a private, non-profit state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. A cultural resource for Iowans since 1971, Humanities Iowa offers many cultural and historical programs and grants to Iowa’s communities.

Holly Berg

American Gothic House Center

The American Gothic House Center strives to become financially independent through gift shop revenue, sponsorships, and by establishing an endowment fund. Funds raised in this campaign will be used to match the Iowa Cultural Trust Endowment Challenge Grant and will become endowment funds to support the Center's annual operations. As a subscriber to the weekly newsletter, you have already shown support for the American Gothic House Center. I invite you to strengthen your role in the valuable experience we provide the community by making a contribution to our fund drive. Click here to give your tax deductible gift, or head to our website for more information. Thank you to all who have donated so far!

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