American Gothic

Qr Code

original title

American Gothic​

The artwork




Oil on Beaver Board

78 cm × 65.3 cm


The artist

Grant DeVolson Wood

February 13, 1891


Where to see it

Art Institute of Chicago

"Technique does not constitute art. Nor is it a vague, fuzzy romantic quality known as ‘beauty,’ remote from the realities of everyday life. It is the depth and intensity of an artist’s experience that are the first importance in art."
Grant Wood

Why we love it

It is not the central characters, but the small house, known as the “Dibble House“, in the neo-Gothic Carpenter style, that inspired this painting, in which the artist Grant Wood created perhaps the best known work of American art of the 20th century.

The artwork offers a fascinating look at life in the rural areas of the American Midwest and appears to be a satire on the repressive life of small-town in the 1930s. This was a very difficult year in the US in the midst of the economic crisis, after the Crac of 29, American artists, instead of following the avant-garde currents as in Europe, became social chroniclers. 

Wood imitates the style of the Flemish Renaissance painters, such as that of his idol Van Eyck, in a portrait has caused multiple interpretations, thinking that the characters were a farmer’s marriage, although the reality is that they pretended to be a father and his daughter, but the models had nothing to do with each other.

Local people did not like it, as they were portrayed as religious fanatic Puritans, although Wood intended it to be a positive statement about rural American values.

Grant Wood won an award for this work and sold it for just $ 300 to the Art Institute of Chicago. Today for one of his landscapes they pay about seven million dollars.

This is just our small contribution, your curiosity can do the rest.


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