Beth Howard stumbled onto the Iowa farmhouse depicted in Grant Wood’s 1930 painting ‘American Gothic’ on a road trip after her husband died three years ago. It’s now her home and a place of peace — despite the gawkers who flock to it.
ELDON, Iowa — Beth Howard sits at her kitchen table on a Sunday morning and pulls back the curtain to peer at a group of rosy-cheeked youths taking pictures on her front lawn. They pair off to stand side by side in the pose familiar to millions — the dour farmer with a pitchfork, the unsmiling woman beside him in front of the white house.
No one notices the woman in flannel pajamas sitting inside.
“People seldom know that people live here, much less that there’s someone watching them from the other side of the curtain,” says Howard, who rents the house made famous in Grant Wood’s painting “American Gothic.”
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