American (Neo-Tudor) Gothic

Our family has an annual Harvest Party tradition that is held at my parents' home each September.  Usually I am the official photographer, capturing each moment over the last 10+ years of grandkids hunting for pumpkins in the pumpkin patch, bobbing for apples, or carving their jack-o-lanterns.  Some fall seasons are warmer, or dryer, than others.....but this year seemed to be just about perfect.

I think my kids are starting to feel a bit too old for this now.  The oldest grandchild has a child of her own now, so I don't think the tradition is in jeopardy.

The grandkids with mom and dad

Usually as a way to "wrap-up" the festivities my mom and dad organize a group photo of the grandkids in front of a cornstalk in their front yard, bedecked with pumpkins, gourds, and bales of straw.  This year was no different, except for a brief moment after the official photo had been taken.  I never really thought of the main front gable of our house as the perfect backdrop for a photo....and not just any photo.  I managed to talk my mom and dad into staging what may be one of the best-known paintings in American history, American Gothic by Grant Wood.  As I snapped several shots my mom commented that I likely would be posting it on that facebook thing and make fun of them.  Hmmm.  Well, I did use it as my profile picture for the last month.  Grant Wood used a Gothic Revival-style farmhouse in his backdrop for the old farmer couple; I used my parents' Neo-Tudor house they built in 1974 as my backdrop.  Add a few props and presto.

Grant Wood is my favorite American artist.  I have an original print of his entitled Arbor Day hanging on my office wall.  He has a series of prints entitled with the seasons, and it would be awesome to have them in the dining room.....if anyone wants a Christmas gift idea for me.

The original American Gothic by Grant Wood


I knew immediately what your inspiration was with the photo of your Mom and Dad. Great idea. As a footnote, if you ever go to the Davis Mercantile in Shipshewana, the bathrooms on the lower level do not say "Men" or "Women" but instead have the individual photographs of the man and woman in Grant's painting. We play music just outside the restroom sometimes and it's interesting to see the men and women who need to use the facilities look at the pictures. I'm sure a lot of women are not quite sure they're entering the correct restroom as the picture of the woman is not all that "womanly". Anyway, Kurt, I enjoyed the story of your family's fall gathering. Sounds like fun.

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