Find us on Google+ Rick and JoAnne's RV Travels: Mark Twain's Hannibal, Missouri & American Gothic Eldon, Iowa

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mark Twain's Hannibal, Missouri & American Gothic Eldon, Iowa

JoAnne Morgan
April 2, 2012 - After leaving our kids in St. Louis, we headed toward Des Moines, Iowa for a business meeting Rick needed to attend. So along the way we decided to stop in Hannibal, MO - the boyhood home of of Samuel L. Clemens - the famous Mark Twain.

The town clearly has seen "better days" but it was fun to visit the boyhood home of Sam Clemens, see Becky Thatcher's house, Tom Sawyer's white-washed fence, the Mark Twain Museum, Lover's Leap, and enjoy the most yummy gelato at Chocolaterie-Stam. SEE PHOTOS HERE


April 3, 2012 - American Gothic turn right – 

We saw the sign, and said “let’s stop!”

American Gothic is a painting by American painter, Grant Wood in Eldon, Iowa. His inspiration came from a cottage designed in the Gothic style with a distinctive upper window and a decision to paint the house along with "the kind of people I fancied should live in that house."

The painting shows a farmer standing beside his spinster daughter. The figures were modeled by the artist's dentist, Byron McKeeby and Wood’s sister, Nan Wood Graham. The woman is dressed in a colonial print apron mimicking 19th century Americana and the couple are in the traditional roles of men and women, the man's pitchfork symbolizing hard labor, and the flowers over the woman's right shoulder suggesting domesticity.

At the Visitor’s Center they shared interesting information about the painting, for example, Nan Wood Graham and Byron McKeeby had no idea where the house was. They were just “inserted into the painting.” Nan was invited to the opening of the center, and she was so happy to finally find out exactly where in Iowa the house was located. Also Bryon, Grant Woods’s dentist was so unhappy with the painting; he never talked to Grant again.

One of the many pictures they have displayed is of Grant Wood when he painted the house in 1930.

We asked if anyone lives in the home, and apparently the house has been used as a rental home over the years.

It was fascinating, great fun and we were oh so happy we made that right turn! SEE PHOTOS HERE