Thursday, February 2, 2012

A second “Mona Lisa”? and Iowa Legislators get into “American Gothic”

This morning, I gave a group of visitors my “introductory speech”, where I often mention how “American Gothic” is only behind da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” as the most parodied painting. A visitor asked if I had heard the news report today about a second “Mona Lisa” being discovered. I was very intrigued, and had to look into it!

The Prado museum in Madrid has possessed what they thought to be a copy of the “Mona Lisa” in their collection since at least 1666. It was thought to have been painted from the original after da Vinci’s death. The painting contained a darkly painted background, different from da Vinci’s version. The Prado museum decided to perform restoration work to the piece to prepare for it to be put on display at the Louvre. In preparation for the restoration work, the museum studied X-rays and infrared scans of the piece, and found that behind the dark paint was a landscape similar to that seen in the “Mona Lisa” Curators have since restored the painting to near its original condition, and believe that the work was created alongside da Vinci by one of his students.

Click on this link to read more about this interesting discovery!

On Tuesday, January 31st, travel organizations from across the state hosted legislators at the 23rd Iowa Tourism Showcase to make their case as to the value of tourism in economic development. More than seventy exhibitors represented the array of attractions, hoteliers, and destinations located in Iowa. The exhibitors asked legislators to support policies and additional funding that would increase the economic return Iowans realize from the travel industry. The event theme asked participants to demonstrate how “Tourism Works” and to put a face on tourism employees. The American Gothic House Center shared a booth with the Ottumwa Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and promoted the many great things the area has to offer visitors. As we worked to put a “face on tourism employees” we were able to have many of our Iowa Legislators put their face in “American Gothic”! It was great to meet with so many of Iowa’s Legislators and show them the successes we have had in tourism.

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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