In Stone City on a dreary 10 January 2013.
No, I am not happy about being here. I miss my home in Mexico with an ache beyond description. But I am determined not to belabor that. Since I am here, I have decided to show you around a bit more. I have this old farmhouse cleaned out to the point that I feel that I have the job surrounded. I can take a break and take a drive on occasion now.
The gravel road in front of the farmhouse has been generically referred to as the “Ridge Road” for as long as I can remember. If one follows it straight to the east for 17 miles as it wends its way along the ridge line, one comes to Stone City. Stone City derives its name from the vast white limestone quarries there. The fireplace in this house is constructed of that same white limestone.
Stone City is Grant Wood country–Grant Wood, the big kahuna of the Regionalist movement in painting who converted Thomas Hart Benton. He painted many scenes in the neighborhood of Stone City in his then new Regionalist style. He included bits and pieces of Stone City in other paintings.
American Gothic, Chicago Art Institute.
I have decidedly mixed feelings about Grant Wood’s Regionalist style of which this is a good example only in subtle ways. I will grant him this though. This one was ingeniously titled. More about Grant Wood and Stone City–sometimes affectionately referred to as Stoned City–in the next entry. We will see what you think.
Actually, this is only a replica of the house in the painting that used to stand in Eldon. This is a false front. There is no second floor behind that famous, distinctive window here. Tourist kitsch, but well done kitsch. It appears authentic from the front and catches the eye.