American Gothic House Center acquires original Grant Wood lithograph

This 1939 lithograph entitled "Fruits" is a Grant Wood original.

The American Gothic House Center has acquired its first piece of original Grant Wood artwork.

Gothic House Administrator Holly Berg said one of the museum's volunteers' brother found the 1939 lithograph entitled "Fruits" up for sale in Massachusetts. Thanks to funds from the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation, the city of Eldon and John Deere Ottumwa Works, the Gothic House was able to purchase it.

The piece was originally priced at around $5, a sign of the economic times for America, and part of the effort to make artwork more affordable for the everyday family. In addition to not having a lot of original artwork available in Ottumwa or Wapello County, having "Fruits" on display at the museum strengthens the connection between Grant Wood, the Gothic House and the city of Eldon.

"Nan Wood Grant helped to hand-tint this entire series of lithographs, and so it's a great piece and a great connection to the American Gothic House here, as she had such a great connection to Eldon," Berg said.

The public can view the lithograph on display for the first time at an opening reception Friday, November 22 from 4-6 p.m. at the Gothic House Center. The piece will also be on display at the Gothic House Museum throughout the holiday season.

Berg said there are plans for an expanded exhibit with background and history to the piece that will be added around April of next year.