Contest #565: Dibble House (aka American Gothic House), Eldon, Iowa, USA

This house was built in 1881 by Charles A. Dibble.

2007-06-04-Gothic House.jpg

In 1930, artist Grant Wood was being driven around Eldon and they passed the house, now owned by Gideon and Mary Hart Jones. Wood was fascinated by the image of a Gothic-style window in what he felt was a fairly cheaply framed house, and he decided to use it in the background of a painting, along with “the kind of people I fancied should live in that house.” He did not choose the owners, the Jones, but, instead modeled the couple on his dentist and his sister. It is not, by the way, supposed to be a couple, but a father and daughter.

Grant Wood - American Gothic - Google Art Project.jpg
By Grant Wood

The painting was not initially well received. It was awarded a bronze medal at an art contest in Chicago and Wood won a whopping $300. With the onset of the worst part of the global depression of the 1930’s, the painting became seen as a celebration of rural America and the strength of its people. Some have postulated that the painting is funereal, given the closed curtains combined with the fact that the woman is wearing a black dress under her apron and appearance that she is holding back tears, but Wood, who died in 1942, never gave any hints to this nature of his work.

We had one player who figured out that this is the start of a small series:

  • Walter_V_R

And a number who found the place after the hint:

  • Jason Hattermann
  • LawnBoy
  • Ashwini Agrawal
  • Gillian B
  • Abcdefg Hijkl
  • hhgygy
  • Rob de Wolff
  • Martin de Bock
  • BC11
  • Phil Ower
  • Steve Hoge
  • Yakubi Dergahi
  • Garfield
  • Paul Voestermans
  • gscrp