American Gothic (-derived) Sculpture

American Gothic -derived & Iowa - Past and Present - Living Fence

Created by John Brommel in 2003 for William Krause

Donated to the city of Waukee as part of Parkland Dedication

Installed at the library in October 2015


The sculpture consists of two parts. The central section is inspired by American Regionalist artist Grant Wood’s iconic 1930 painting American Gothic. It is a painted metal “tracery” of the couple in the painting with the pitchfork between them. To either side of this central segment are, in two staggered rows, prairie grass plants on the left, and cornstalks on the right.


Sculptor John B. Brommel was born and raised in Des Moines, IA. He pursued his lifelong interest in art while working as a steamfitter. In the late 1970s and early 1980s he began creating first wood, then stone sculptures. In 1998 he turned to metal sculpture, having deep knowledge of carbon steel, stainless steel, brass, copper and aluminum, as well as welding, from his steamfitting years. In 2004 he took up airbrush painting. Showing his concern for the environment Brommel is avid about recycling and repurposing. Over 500 of Brommel’s sculptures and 2-D metal paintings are in public and private collections.

Other works by artist John Brommel:

Pulling Together – at Plumbers and Steamfitters Local Union

Preying for Prey – Enabling Garden in Altoona

Love Lifts Lives – at Kiwanis Miracle Baseball Field in Des Moines


Other links:

American Gothic House Center

Art Institute Chicago

WPL Books about Grant Wood