Grant Wood: American Gothic and Other Fables

Whitney Museum

New York

02 MAR 2018 - 10 JUN 2018
Exhibit content
Exhibit set-up
Text panels
Visitor recommended
Overall visit

Grant Wood's American Gothic—the double portrait of a pitchfork-wielding farmer and a woman commonly presumed to be his wife—is perhaps the most recognizable painting in 20th century American art, an indelible icon of Americana, and certainly Wood's most famous art work. But Wood's career consists of far more than one single painting. Grant Wood: American Gothic and Other Fables brings together the full range of his art, from his early Arts and Crafts decorative objects and Impressionist oils through his mature paintings, murals, and book illustrations. What the exhibition reveals is a complex, sophisticated artist whose image as a farmer-painter was as mythical as the fables he depicted in his art. Wood sought pictorially to fashion a world of harmony and prosperity that would answer America's need for reassurance at a time of economic and social upheaval occasioned by the Depression. Yet underneath its bucolic exterior, his art reflects the anxiety of being an artist and a closeted gay man in the Midwest in the 1930s. By depicting his subconscious anxieties through populist images of rural America, Wood crafted images that speak both to American identity and to the estrangement and isolation of modern life.

Visitor Reviews


Delphine reviewed

Grant Wood: American Gothic and Other Fables
@ Whitney Museum, New York, USA
21 May, 2018

The Whitney museum is a piece of art in itself but this exhibit was really good. We have space to navigate between the different sections and the show is very well documented thanks to the audio guides (which are free by the way). This is really what we’re expevting to see when we think about American art. Very realistic, precise pieces. A good echo and illustration of the society and it’s evokurion at this time too.