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We're still despatching orders, but delivery times may be significantly longer due to current COVID-19 restrictions.
We're still despatching orders, but delivery times may be significantly longer due to current COVID-19 restrictions.

American Gothic, 1942


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Colorized by Deborah Humphries
based on an original gelatin silver print by Gordon Parks
License this Image

  • Collectible giclée fine art print;
  • Hand-printed in England, with individual embossing;
  • Ships with a Certificate of Authenticity;
  • Guaranteed archival quality for over a century;
  • Each sale directly supports the artisan;
  • Global shipping available;
  • Listed dimensions include a white border for easy framing


Taken 1942, Washington D.C, United States
(Library of Congress)

"I saw strength and was humbled by it while working on this brutally, truthful portrayal of Ella Watson. I had much more than a passing “do no harm” mission as I put color to it. This woman had so little. Safety pins, elastic, and two out of 5 buttons hold a too-large cotton work dress together. The little bits in contrast to the bigger picture. She held so much more together for herself and her family."

– Deborah Humphries

This historical photograph has been meticulously researched and rendered into colour from a black and white original by a skilled artisan, continuing a craft tradition that has existed since photography began.


"I had experienced a kind of bigotry and discrimination here that I never expected to experience... At first, I asked [Ella Watson] about her life, what it was like, and [it was] so disastrous that I felt that I must photograph this woman in a way that would make me feel or make the public feel about what Washington, D.C., was in 1942. So I put her before the American flag with a broom in one hand and a mop in another. And I said, ‘American Gothic’—that’s how I felt at the moment."

– Gordon Parks

ABOUT GORDON PARKS (1902 – 2006)
Born in Fort Scott in Kansas, Parks' extraordinary legacy documenting social justice and discrimination in 20th century America as composer and filmmaker began at the age of 25 encountering photographs of migrant workers. Buying a Voigtländer Brillant camera for the princely sum of USD$7.50, his first encouraging forays led him to Chicago where he documented the city and its inhabitants. Roy Stryker, the director at the Farm Security Administration hired him in 1941, shortly after which he iconically captured racism and segregation in America's capital in his portrait American Gothic.

Parks went onto photograph the all-black 332nd Fighter Group as the FSA morphed into the Office for War Information, before following Stryker into Standard Oil, and later Vogue. A relationship with LIFE magazine ensued in the following decades between freelance work and authoring many notable works on photography. Parks remains the most prolific black photographer of the 20th century.

See all prints by Gordon Parks.

Our prints come in popular sizes with a white border for easy framing. Small prints will ship in a stiffened envelope rather than a postal tube.

S (A4) – 21 × 29.7 cm / 8.3 × 11.7 inches
M (A3) – 29.7 × 42 cm / 11.7 × 16.5 inches
L (A2) – 42 × 59.4 cm / 16.5 × 23.4 inches
XXL (A0) – 84.1 × 118.9 cm / 33.1 × 46.8 inches

Presented on 315gsm Hahnemühle Photo Rag® Baryta; a pleasantly warm, pure cotton paper with subtle texture, providing excellent reproduction of colour and detail, deep blacks, and perfect contrasts. More information about our prints can be found here.
‘Made–to–Order’ colorized fine art prints, proudly produced in St. Leonards, East Sussex, England. This is a derivative work. Photographs for illustration purposes only. Please note that all giclée art prints are currently supplied unframed. More information about shipping and returns can be found here.