“….Giant Packages” from the Director of the Iowa History Center

Sometimes good things come in giant packages!


We could not figure out why sculptor Seward Johnson’s giant homage to Grant Wood’s American Gothic had only been on display in Iowa once (in Dubuque), so we have brought it here to Simpson College in Indianola.  The God Bless America statue arrived on campus July 26th.  We are thrilled to be exhibiting the 25-foot, 30,000 pound statue of Grant Wood’s American Gothic figures, located across C Street from the Kent Campus Center.


Over the course of the fall semester, our public programming will be devoted to Grant Wood and the famous painting.  Two special events include:

  • Actor Tom Milligan will perform his one-man show, Grant Wood: Prairie Rebel.  Playing Grant Wood, Milligan chats with the audience as if talking to an old friend across the backyard fence.  He tells us about his life and how he changed the art world forever.  This show will be held outside in front of the statue, September 17, 7 p.m.  In case of inclement weather, it will be moved to the Black Box Theater in the Kent Campus Center.
  • Wanda Corn, a nationally acclaimed art historian specializing in late nineteenth and early twentieth century American art will present a lecture entitled “The Three Lives of Grant Wood’s American Gothic,” which will offer a close look at the Grant Wood painting and its strange odyssey from the studio of an unknown Iowan artist 75 years ago to its international celebrity status today.  The program is scheduled for November 5, 7 p.m. at the Kent Campus Center.

We’re also working on several other special events focusing on the celebrated artist and his iconic painting.  Please check our website for updates, and come by campus for a once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity!

Bill Friedricks Director, Iowa History Center


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