Wednesday, December 12, 2007

american gothic

October brought a return of a recruiting pilgrimage to eastern Iowa (Luther , Warburg , UNI, Loras, UDubuque, Central and more). I love travelling in Iowa in the fall. I love the colors...the farmers in the fields (i even try to have compassion for them on the highways). This trip brought a new destination to my lonely admissions counselors travels. I wandered passed Eldon Iowa where the famed American Gothic home still stands. This home lives, in our collective memory as a gift of Iowa's greatest artist Grant Wood. Painted in 1930, it now hangs in the Chicago Art Institute.

It was a fun experience to see the home and to walk around it. What was more interesting was the museum just to the south. The museum had a collection of kitsch that boggled my mind. This national treasure has been raped by our advertising and consumer society...everything from ducks to Mickey and Minnie mouse have been imaged in those overalls and dress. And on everything from matchbooks to lunchboxes. If you do a google image search for American Gothic One can even borrow from the museum itself the top half of the dress and overalls and a pitch fork to have your very own picture taken in front of the home.

This is one of my favorite shots from the visit.

Below are just a few images I found on a google image search of how this national treasure has been re-used.