Simpson to Bid Farewell to Popular “Gothic” Statue on March 17

There’s still time – but not much – to view and photograph the “American Gothic”-inspired statue before it leaves Simpson College.

The College has learned that “God Bless America,” the 25-foot, 30,000-pound statue that features the dour couple from Grant Wood’s famous “American Gothic” painting, will be dismantled on March 17 and will leave campus the following day. Sculptor Seward Johnson created the statue.

The statue, which arrived in Simpson last June, has been a popular tourist spot for visitors and quickly became one of the most-photographed spots on campus.

“Hosting the sculpture has been delightful,” said Bill Friedricks, director of the Iowa History Center. “The giant couple brought thousands of people to campus and added a sense of whimsy to the community.  Just as we had hoped, it generated a lot of talk about Iowa’s history and heritage.  We will hate to see it go.”

During the statue’s stay on campus, the Iowa History Center devoted several programs to Grant Wood and “American Gothic.” The center is another example of how a Simpson education provides added value for students.

The statue’s stay at Simpson was made possible in part through the generous financial support of the James W. Hubbell Jr. and Helen H. Hubbell Foundation and the State Historical Society, Inc.