America How Great Thou ART!

Flag, 1967 Jasper Johns, encaustic and collage on canvas (three panels) 33 1/2 x56 1/4in.

Flag, 1967
Jasper Johns
The Broad Museum, Los Angeles

Jasper Johns was an acclaimed artist known for his paintings of flags, targets, and other ordinary objects in the mid 20th century. He helped usher in the Pop Art era.

Jasper Johns:
“In Savannah, Georgia, in a park, there is a statue of Sergeant William Jasper. Once I was walking through this park with my father, and he said that we were named for him. Whether or not that is in fact true or not, I don’t know. Sergeant Jasper lost his life raising the American flag over a fort [Fort Moultrie, American Revolutionary War].”

Morning Day on the Farm, 1951 Grandma Moses

Morning Day on the Farm, 1951
Grandma Moses

Anna Mary Robertson Moses, nicknamed Grandma Moses, began painting at 78 and lived to 101.  Art historians say her work portrays homely American farm life and rural countryside.  But Grandma Moses had a different way to describe her subjects: “I like old-timey things—something real pretty,” she said. “Most of them are daydreams.”

American Gothic, 1930 Grant Wood

American Gothic, 1930
Grant Wood
Art Institute of Chicago

With the onset of the Great Depression, the painting, American Gothic, came to be seen as a depiction of steadfast American pioneer spirit.

Leave a Comment



  1. Lisa November 10, 2016 at 9:17 am - Reply

    Like this months blog.
    Do you have an Instagram account? Would like to follow you.

  2. Pippa November 10, 2016 at 9:30 am - Reply

    I enjoyed this month’s blog, with flags and Americana and hope! Art lives!

  3. Bill Warren November 10, 2016 at 9:34 am - Reply

    Kirby, I love your Art Blog. Say hello to Bob. Bill

    • Kirby Kendrick November 10, 2016 at 11:29 am - Reply

      Thank you, Bill. I hope this blog post brings a little peace and reconciliation to us all!

  4. Martha Newport Shimkus November 10, 2016 at 9:38 am - Reply

    Thank you, Kirby, for these beautiful Americana paintings. We need to remember the goodness and beauty of our country at the end of our divisive, bitter, ugly election. Let’s not forget how much we love our country.

    Martha Newport Shimkus

    • Kirby Kendrick November 10, 2016 at 11:27 am - Reply

      Hi Martha,
      Your feelings are exactly those I hoped to call up with this post. Thank you so much for validating exactly how I feel too!

  5. Carol November 10, 2016 at 9:43 am - Reply

    Thank you for that!

  6. Lucille Helton November 10, 2016 at 9:46 am - Reply

    I had a good feeling as I saw Kirby Kendrick’s blog come up on my screen. When opening it, I felt comfort to see our American flag. I also liked the two pictures and the fact they were familiar to me. For those of us in our 70’s, representing The Greatest Generation, there has been so much unexpected happening around this election cycle. This was a good blog affirming America.

    • Kirby Kendrick November 10, 2016 at 11:28 am - Reply

      Yes indeed, Lucille. We have a wonderful country and I am so pleased that this blog post touched you.

  7. Suzanne Getz November 10, 2016 at 11:06 am - Reply

    American Gothic is a frightening picture..the woman is posed behind her scowling husband and she is looking askance and scared. He is looking with cold, hard eyes right at us with his sharp and threatening pitchfork as if to say” if you dare to cross me”! Nothing warm and inviting about this pictue…nothing alive in there to give us hope.

    • Kirby Kendrick November 10, 2016 at 11:19 am - Reply

      Hi Suzanne,
      You are right in line with critics who have a different interpretation of “American Gothic”.

      Yet another interpretation saw it as an “old-fashioned mourning portrait. Notice the curtains hanging in the windows of the house, both upstairs and down, are pulled closed in the middle of the day, a mourning custom in Victorian America.  The woman wears a black dress beneath her apron, and glances away as if holding back tears.  One imagines she is grieving for the man beside her…Wood had been only 10 when his father died.  Later he lived above a garage reserved for hearses…so death might have been on his mind.”

      thank you for such an astute and honest comment.

  8. david kremenak November 10, 2016 at 1:23 pm - Reply

    American Gothic and Grandma Moses remind us of solid things that last, and, if anything, age gracefully, like fine wines. Thank you for the reminder. Thank you again for last month’s blog on Georgia O’keeffe. It induced me to read GEORGIA O’KEEFFE,A LIFE, a most interesting and perceptive biography of the complex painter. CNN misled us. All is well. Tu amigo, d

    • Katy November 12, 2016 at 3:51 pm - Reply

      David, I enjoy reading your replies to Kirby’s blogs. Very insightful.

      • Kirby Kendrick November 12, 2016 at 3:52 pm - Reply

        Hi Katy,
        David is a very thoughtful and incisive thinker. We enjoy his comments also.

  9. Sissy November 10, 2016 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    This is so lovely and timely. I particularly like the mention of the AMERICAN spirit.xo sissy

  10. Richard November 10, 2016 at 6:23 pm - Reply

    Always enjoy your art blog.

    • Kirby Kendrick November 12, 2016 at 3:48 pm - Reply

      Thanks Richard, for following my blog.
      It is a real pleasure for me to share what I have learned about art!

  11. Suzanne Fuqua November 11, 2016 at 7:13 am - Reply

    What a wonderful blog at such a wonderful time! Thanks you Kirby.

  12. Elizabeth November 11, 2016 at 7:27 am - Reply

    I love the grandma Moses quote – its all about your perspective!!

    • Kirby Kendrick November 12, 2016 at 3:49 pm - Reply

      Hi Elizabeth,
      Thanks for following my art blog. I learn so much from doing the research & I like to pass that on.

  13. Sheridan November 11, 2016 at 9:03 am - Reply

    Hi Kirby,
    Your blog is so much fun and informative too.

    • Kirby Kendrick November 12, 2016 at 3:46 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Sheridan, for following my blog.
      After the election I felt strongly that I had to do something in my own small sphere to counteract all the negativity. Art does have the power to transcend the temporary chaos, don’t you think?
      Happy weekend & I look forward to your insightful comments.

  14. Cat November 11, 2016 at 9:30 am - Reply

    I love receiving your blogs . .

  15. Susanne Flowers November 12, 2016 at 8:57 am - Reply

    Kirby, Excellent collection of American paintings for this post election period in our country. Wood’s “American Gothic” is so powerful and the mourning interpretation seems to be right on. Thanks for that insight.

  16. Kris Wheeler November 12, 2016 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    Thank you Kirby. Well chosen art works and a timely blog. I enjoyed the respite.

  17. Victor DePratti November 17, 2016 at 5:10 pm - Reply

    America is great. It does need a restart. Please remember the struggle, the shed blood, the pain required to make America what it is. We have been on autopilot post WW II. Our youth is bright, educated but perhaps a bit self indulgent? Familiarity with success breeds boredom? Has too much, too long, and too easy had a consequence? No answers will flow from me. Positive friction can be beneficial. It can cause motion. It can cause reflection, as in … what’s going on here. Fear not a change of pace. We have come far not by accident but because of an uncommon blend of need and a strong dose of independence. Be calm, but don’t relax too much.

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