American Gothic House

The man in “American Gothic” was a dentist, not a farmer

Jan. 11, 2014
Replace the drill with a pitchfork and you've got yourself a dental school farmer!

January 11, 2014

When Grant Wood saw a house in Iowa that we now refer to as the “American Gothic House,” he decided to paint it, along with the kind of couple he envisioned living in that house.

The models he used were his sister, who defussed her hair to look plain and simple, and his dentist, who looks exactly the same in the painting as in real life.

Here is the image of the house that inspired the famous painting we all know and love:

And the famous painting itself (from 1930):

And the two models, looking just as excited to be themselves as they do to be farmers, next to the painting:

A dentist. With that pitchfork in hand, who would have thought?

Story courtesy of

Lauren Burns is the editor of Proofs magazine and the email newsletters RDH Graduate and Proofs. She is currently based out of New York City. Follow her on Twitter: @ellekeid.