Biography of an American Icon

American Gothic by Grant Wood is one of the most recognizable emblems in our cultural landscape, much like the flag, the American eagle and the Statue of Liberty.
In Steven Biel’s American Gothic: a life of America's most famous painting the author followed Route 16 out of Eldon, Iowa to trace the making of this American icon.

Full of details, delightful trivia (Wood recruited his reluctant sister and a local dentist to pose; the pitchfork was originally a rake; and the cameo belonged to Wood's mother) and thoughtful discussions on the impact of the painting on our national and regional consciousness, this book is highly recommended.

Curious about other works by Wood? Check out the Cedar Rapids Musuem's Grant Wood Studio.

American Gothic is part of the permanent collection at The Art Institute of Chicago.