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Grant Wood’s ‘American Gothic’, unvarnished


Friday 17 March 2017
6.30 — 7.30pm

This event has now ended

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Part of our

America after the Fall: Painting in the 1930s

events programme
Go to exhibition page

Grant Wood, American Gothic (detail), 1930.

Oil on beaver board. 78 x 65.3 cm. Friends of American Art Collection 1930.934, The Art Institute of Chicago. Exhibition organised by the Art Institute of Chicago in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Arts, London, and Établissement public du musée d'Orsay et du musée de l'Orangerie, Paris.

Art historian R. Tripp Evans explores the complex matrix of personal and stylistic influences behind Wood’s iconic ‘American Gothic’ (1930) – a painting that is, at once, one of the most recognisable and enigmatic images in American art.

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. Delve deep into the significance and origins of American Gothic at this talk by the expert on this seminal painting.

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

This talk will be accompanied with speech-to-text transcription by STAGETEXT and BSL (British Sign Language) interpretation.

All ticket prices include one complimentary drink at a reception following the event.

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

Friday 17 March 2017

6.30 — 7.30pm

The Reynolds Room, Burlington House, Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly

£12, £6 concessions. Free for carers.