Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A new connection to the Wood family

I recently had the privilege of talking to Debbie Beilstein, the great niece of Frank Wood, Grant Wood’s brother.  Frank served very much as a grandfather figure to Debbie and she also shared a close relationship with Nan Wood Graham as Nan resided nearby in Riverside, California.  As none of the Wood siblings had any immediate descendants, it has been a joy to speak to Debbie about her memories.  To the right is a photograph from 1960 of Debbie and Frank when she was 3 in his backyard in San Diego.

Debbie has started a Facebook page where she is sharing photographs and stories about Frank and Nan.  I welcome you to visit and follow her page to learn more:

One of my favorite things Debbie shared with me is a recipe for cheese bread that Nan Wood Graham would bring to every family gathering.  Debbie’s family has kept the tradition alive and still makes “American Gothic cheese bread” today.  To join in the tradition, I plan to make Nan’s recipe this weekend to serve at our lecture series event on Sunday.  Be sure to join us Sunday at 2:00pm for a great presentation by Mark McWhorter on “Regionalist Art During the Great Depression” and try some of Nan’s cheese bread for yourself!

Holly Berg, Administrator
American Gothic House Center

Upcoming Events:

Friday, April 4: New exhibit:  Fruits, by Grant Wood
5:00pm-7:00pm at the American Gothic House Center
All ages welcome with free admission.
In his last few years of work, Grant Wood turned his focus to the print medium.  Fruits is an important piece of this work.  The American Gothic House Center is pleased to display this work as part of the Center’s permanent collection.  View the work and learn about the history behind this series of lithographs and its relationship to the Great Depression. The acquisition of this work made possible with funding from Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation, City of Eldon, and John Deere Ottumwa Works.

Sunday, April 6: Lecture series: “Regionalist Art During the Great Depression”
2:00pm at the Eldon Library Hall
All ages welcome with free admission.
Join us as Mark McWhorter, director of the Indian Hills Art Gallery discusses the implications the Great Depression had on the Regionalist art community.  Several works from the IHCC collection will be on display, including works by Grant Wood.

Saturday, April 19: Easter Egg Roll at our “White House”
Easter Egg Hunt at 1:00pm
1:00pm-3:00pm on the American Gothic House grounds
Open to children and free admission.
Join us for our annual Egg Roll!  A popular tradition at the White House, this event will be sure to please!  Spring themed crafts and activities to accompany the event.  Sponsored by the American Gothic House Center and GATE.

Saturday, May 3: Wildflower Pastel Class
1:00pm-2:00pm on the American Gothic House grounds
Open to children K-6 grade
$9.00 fee for supplies
Pre-registration needed, limited to 15 participants
Celebrate May Day with a stroll through the Center’s wildflower gardens!  Students will learn about of the flowers and create their own with pastel chalk.  Local artist Chris Abigt will host the class and guide the students in their creations.

The American Gothic House Center strives to become financially independent through gift shop revenues, sponsorships, and by establishing an endowment fund. Funds raised in this campaign 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!
        Our Mission: Integrating the puzzle pieces of American Gothic
300 American Gothic St | Eldon, IA 52554 | 641-652-3352 |