In 1930 Grant Wood painted what has become the second most recognized painting in the world - American Gothic. As most painters, Wood needed inspiration, and it was in Eldon, Iowa where he discovered a little white house with an odd window that provided both the inspiration and the backdrop for his most famous work. This house remains standing today in its original location for students of all ages to appreciate and enjoy.

The staff at the American Gothic House Center invites all classes of any size to visit the Center. We offer a variety of option to both educate and inform, and are happy to tailor our programming to meet your students’ needs. We’re also happy to work with students of all ages, whether they’re just starting out in elementary school, or are in a college level class.

Field Trips

Field trips vary as to needs and time and may include:

  • Instruction on Grant Wood’s life and place in Art History and Regionalism.

  • Introduction to the painting American Gothic and how Wood came to be in Eldon and find the house

  • Explore and better understand some of the parodies that help keep the painting famous

  • Watch films about Grant Wood, his life, painting style, and place in art history

  • See the original house Wood sketched when forming his idea for American Gothic

  • Photograph or sketch students in front of the house to create a parody

  • Scavenger hunts which guide students through exhibits on Wood and his paintings, the parodies, and the house’s history.

In-School Programming

If a field trip is not possible, programs are available for the school classroom. Contact the American Gothic House Center to find out how staff could create or adapt one of our presentations to fit the needs of your class, whether the subject is art, social studies, or history. Examples or available programs include:

  • Grant Wood’s life and place in art history and the Regionalist art movement

  • Introduction to American Gothic and other similar American art

  • Discussion of the Great Depression, agriculture, and other themes woven through Wood’s works

  • Introduction to museum studies, and an overview of the various behind-the-scenes responsibilities undertaken by museum professionals

  • Any other topic relating to Grant Wood, or our center. If you’re not sure, feel free to reach out and we’ll see what we can do.

Presentations

We are also happy to present at your club or group, whether school-age or adult, and can speak on any of the above topics.

Scheduling

To schedule your field trip or in-school programming, please contact our administrator, Kelsy Westman, at theamericangothichouse@gmail.com or (641) 652-3352. Please try to give us at least 3 weeks notice for field trips, or 4 weeks for in-school programming or presentations, so we can have time to prepare for your educational experience. We recommend scheduling as far in advance as possible to ensure availability.

Cost

Field trips and programming are free services we offer to schools. Our presentations for community groups are also totally free. We do accept donations, but please do not feel this is necessary, and know that you will get the best experience we can provide, regardless of whether or not you donate.