Anamosa preps for American Gothic statue

The “God Bless America” sculpture, inspired by Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” painting, will be erected in Anamosa beginning June 12. The 25-foot statue was on display in downtown Dubuque in 2013. It will remain in Anamosa throughout 2018. (Express file photo)

     On Tuesday, June 12, Anamosa will awake to a dramatic site. A towering farming couple in the form of the “God Bless America” sculpture, by renowned American artist Seward Johnson, will be installed off of Main Street in downtown Anamosa. The sculpture itself, as well as the installation process, will be visually stunning.

     Beginning at approximately 9 a.m. on Tuesday, a huge crane will begin listing the gigantic sculpture into the air and place the figures standing together. The sculpture is part of a series by Johnson using artistic icons – images that have had significant impact on our culture – and transforming them.

     “I want to invite us all to ‘look back’ at these images and discover what we’ve learned since they first became icons to us, and how our understanding or point of view may have shifted since then,” said Johnson, the sculptor. “We accept them as icons, but as an artist, I want to ask another question – such as, would they be embraced the same way if they came to us today? Would we view them with more cynicism or can we still see purity at this stage of our social maturity?”

     Area residents may already be familiar with this amazing work of sculpture as it has previously been on exhibit on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, as well as Mesa, Ariz.; Key West, Fla.; and most recently in Elkhart, Ind.

     The City of Anamosa has invited the temporary loan of the sculpture from The Seward Johnson Atelier, Inc., a not-for-profit entity that encourages the placement of sharing for public art. The Foundation’s director, Paula Stoeke, notes, “One key purpose of public art is to initiate dialogue within communities. This monumental sculpture is provocative in its very presence, and should turn heads as well as start conversations.”

     “God Bless America” will be on exhibit through 2018. In addition, the City of Anamosa will be highlighting its own world-class Grant Wood collection and hosting numerous Grant Wood-themed programs throughout the exhibit’s duration.


Subscriber Login