Marieta's Retirement Ramblings

“God Bless America” Sculpture by J. Seward Johnson, Jr.


Just in time for Independence Day celebrations!

What a privilege! This sculpture is almost literally in our backyard… only five blocks from our house.

Bill Friedricks with the Iowa History Center located on the Simpson College campus is responsible for raising the funds and making the arrangements for us to enjoy this piece of travelling art through at least December 31, 2013… the rest of this year!

This 2005 depiction of Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” is 25 feet tall and weighs 30,000 pounds. Along with two granddaughters, I watched part of the day-long process of assembling the structure. We were amazed at how big it is and how it took cranes to move the pieces into place. For pictures of the installation process you can go to (It is a great set of photos. However, be forewarned, my computer locked up two times as I tried to view them.)

A traveling sculpture it has already been on Michigan Avenue in Chicago; in Mesa, Arizona; Indianapolis; and most recently in Dubuque, Iowa.

Some people think the suitcase is indicative of the travelling status of the sculpture; however, others think it points to American jobs being lost overseas. The stickers on the suitcase are from Taiwan, Shanghai, China, Bangladesh, India and Thailand. Whichever theory, we are pleased and proud to have it in Indianola!

Two of our granddaughters with the lady

Granddaughters with the man

Lowering the man’s lower body into position

Showing the iron innards and the fiberglass exterior

“God Bless America”