Saturday, 16 June 2012

Case no 0005 - American Gothic


Notes: I saw the man from this painting (American Gothic by Grant Wood) on the Tube yesterday. I got on the Victoria line going southbound from Oxford Circus and sat down directly opposite him. He was a tall man and he was wearing a pinstriped suit and resting his hands on his knees. I recognised him immediately. Although his clothes were different and he wasn't wearing glasses or carrying a pitchfork, his expression was strikingly similar to his expression in the painting. I stared at him but I didn't speak to him. He left the train at Victoria.

The painting is from 1930 and can be seen at The Art Institute of Chicago. It was painted in oil on beaver board.

Anything else? The Art Institute of Chicago tells us that Grant Wood used his sister and their dentist as models. Other sources tell us that his sister was called Nan Graham Wood and the dentist was called Dr Byron McKeeby.

This photo shows Nan and Dr McKeeby standing next to the painting. Dr McKeeby doesn't look much like the man in the painting - only his glasses are similar. The man on the Victoria Line opposite me yesterday looked exactly like the man in the painting, except for the glasses. Perhaps Grant Wood used his dentist's glasses as a prop and that's what persuaded Dr McKeeby to go along with the subterfuge?

I know that I should have used my phone to try to take a picture of the man on the Victoria Line as evidence. But taking clandestine pictures of strangers seems intrusive and I wouldn't feel right about publishing it here, even if I'd managed to get a decent shot of him.

However, if you compare the photo of Dr McKeeby to the man in the painting, it's difficult to believe that he was really used as the model. His head is too narrow at the top and he's not tall enough. His ears are different. His mouth is different. And take a look at Nan's expression in the painting. She looks pretty much the way you'd expect someone to look if confronted with evidence of time travel.
What does it mean? It's evidence of time travel.
Also see: Katie Pitts's theory of time travel.

Categorised under: Time travel.