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Podcast: the influences of American Gothic

Published 19 April 2017

Art historian R. Tripp Evans delves deep into the significance and origins of Grant Wood’s iconic painting, one of the works in the RA’s exhibition America after the Fall: Painting in the 1930s.

  • When American Gothic debuted at the Art Institute of Chicago in the autumn of 1930, critics from New York to Berlin hailed the work as a “national portrait”. Some championed the image as a tribute to a lost agrarian age, while others perceived in it a wicked satire of American provincialism. Decidedly more gothic than it is American, the painting conjures the ghosts and family secrets of Wood’s own past, casting each of its haunting figures in multiple roles.

    R. Tripp Evans is the award-winning author of ‘Grant Wood: A Life’ (2010) and professor of art history at Wheaton College, Massachusetts.

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