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2013 Photo/Essay Contest: What Would Wood Do?

Essay Log

In the fall of 2013 our Scholars created the first IHC campus-wide contest:

 If Grant Wood were alive today, how would he depict a typical Iowa couple?  How would that compare to the original couple represented in American Gothic?

The rules were quite simple:

 Take a photo in front of the American Gothic-inspired statue on campus and show how you believe Grant Wood would portray a modern Iowa couple. 

Along with your photo submission include a brief essay explaining your photo. 

The Photo:

  • Your photo must be original 
  • One person must be holding an object; anything else can be changed
  • One two people may be featured in the modern depiction of American Gothic
  • Do not climb on the statue!
  • It is not necessary that the person entering the submission be in the picture; but the award will only be given to the person who makes the submission
  • Include two photographs one with the entire statue visible and one close up with some of the statue visible
  • Your depiction must be recognizable as a variation of American Gothic

The Essay:

  • 500-720 word essay, double-spaces with Turabian formatting 
  • This essay must include two main points.                                                                                                      
    • 1. Examine Iowa history in the time period when American Gothic was painted; how did it influence Grant Wood?
    • 2. Explain your modern depiction of the American Gothic and what influenced your rendering. 
  • Plagiarism will not be tolerated; your essay must be original work
  • Only currently enrolled Simpson students may participate in the contest

We awarded the $100 prize to Alec McIntosh on November 5 at the IHC Speaker Series event featuring Dr. Wanda Corn discussing the evolution of the American Gothic image.