Seriously Funny: American Gothic Parodies

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Michael K Frith, "American Gothique," 1984.
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Unknown Artist, "Vermeer and Van Gogh American Gothic."
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Unknown Artist, "Alice in Wonderland American Gothic."
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Unknown Artist "Star Wars American Gothic."

Seriously Funny: American Gothic Parodies

Now-May 2, 2021

Grant Wood’s American Gothic is probably the world’s most parodied American painting, second only to Leonardo’s Mona Lisa. The fact that thousands of parodies of American Gothic exist, dating back several decades, speaks to the enduring inspiration of one of America’s greatest works of art. This exhibition—a first for the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art—will look at many of these parodies—some in the flesh on the gallery’s walls and many others digitally projected in an attempt to share the incredible reach of this iconic painting. From Bill and Hillary Clinton to Leonardo and Mona Lisa to RuPaul as male and female, these parodies speak to how this one painting serves as the basis for looking at various contemporary people and issues. Wood’s impactful 1930 painting continues to inspire “artists” of all ages and skills in a playful and humorous way that Wood would no doubt have applauded.

This exhibition and accompanying educational programming have been made possible by The Henry Luce Foundation, the McIntyre Foundation, the Esther and Robert Armstrong Charitable Trust, Collins Aerospace, CRST International,* and GreatAmerica Financial Services.*

Additional annual support has been provided by the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts, Funds for the Community 2020 of the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, members of the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, and contributors to the Museum’s Annual Fund.  Annual educational programming has been supported in part by Transamerica.

*Donor-Advised Funds of the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation.