Grant Wood’s antimodernist painting American Gothic (1930) and Ben Shahn’s photo Rural Rehabilitation Client (1935), usually called Rehabilitation Clients, Boone County, Arkansas, 1935 make a popular topic for comparison and contrast. BBR Thirteenth Edition chapter 6 facilitates a comparison/contrast approach to the two works, discussing method (198); process, including a checklist (199-203); and academic conventions, including a short comparison-contrast of Beyoncé and the Dixie Cups (204-205).
Either perform a standard comparison-contrast examination of the two works, or, alternatively, ask what is it about Wood’s famous 1930 painting that has made it such a popular target of parody? And why doesn’t the same apply to Ben Shahn’s Rural Rehabilitation Client (1935) photo? In either case, use research including both web and academic sources to produce a research essay of at least 1,500 words. The essay is due week _______________. Professional Custom Writing Services from the Experts!
First, develop a bibliography including at least ten items on a topic relating to the pairing of these two images. Create your provisional research bibliography by doing searches cross-referencing such search terms as Grant Wood; Ben Shahn; biography; modernism and antimodernism; and regionalism; the Farm Security Administration; The Great Depression; The New Deal; realism and social realism.
Having located some sources, begin your research by reading and harvesting background information. As you read, you will begin to focus on the aspects of the exercise that are of most interest to you. They may be biographical—Wood, in particular, remains a controversial figure, seen as reactionary and naïf by some, subtle and enigmatic by others. They may be aesthetic: is photography really art? How “political” is Shahn’s work, financed as it was by the Farm Security Administration (FSA)? They may be sociological: is American Gothic a representation of The American Dream, even in the midst of the Great Depression?
In any case the more you read about these artists and their works, the more personal and informed your response will become. Basic biographical facts about, for example, Wood’s models may be acquired in minutes. More work is required in order for you to decide what he did with them in his painting.
Present your essay as a Microsoft Word file in MLA format. A template is posted on Canvas for reference. Include all the mechanics of citation in your draft, including signal phrases, quotation marks, and parenthetical citations pointing to full citation details in a Works Cited at the end of the paper. Be very careful to avoid plagiarism. You may use any source; just be sure to cite it fully.
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