American Gothic depicts a father and daughter, not a husband and wife. American Gothic, seen on the right, is a famous painting by Grant Wood. Today, it is known as one of the most popular and familiar images in 20th century American art. It’s also, as you no doubt know, one of the most parodied works of art in American pop culture. Though today it sits in the Art Institute of Chicago, its beginnings were much more humble.
Wood’s inspiration for the painting came from the American Gothic House (also known as the Dibble House) a house designed in the “Gothic Revival” style. He wanted to paint the house along with people who he felt would live there. In light of that, he painted a farmer and his daughter, who many falsely believe to be his wife.
The two people in the painting were modeled after Wood’s sister and his dentist. Like The Scream and The Mona Lisa, it has been parodied countless times. Some parodies include those by The Muppets, Jersey Shore, Beavis and Butthead, X-Men, The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Office, and even one with George W Bush.