Chris, The Springfield Art Museum located in Springfield, Missouri presently has an art exhibit which I believe would be of interest to the followers of your Union Suit blog. The museum has recently obtained two more lithographs by artist, Grant Wood (1891-1942). It now owns all 19 of his works of this art form. Wood is most famous for his iconic painting, American Gothic. As background, Wood was born and reared in the state of Iowa and became world renowned in the mid-1930's for his depiction primarily of mid-western farming life and American values. His paintings and lithographs were termed “regionalism” and became very popular during the Great Depression.
Coincidentally, the same week I heard from you, I received an email featuring additional "Union Suit" art by none other than Grant Wood. Although not as prominent as the farmer descending the stairs in his Long Underwear, it never-the-less depicts a Union Suit. In this instance, President Herbert Hoover's Union Suit hangs from a boyhood farm house clothesline. Not surprising, Hoover was from Iowa as was Wood. No doubt, both men wore one-piece, button-down Long Johns. Perhaps Wood did have an interest in men's underwear, why not?
Joe of New York City emailed, “On display today at the Whitney in downtown Manhattan is a Grant Wood exhibit: Best known for AMERICAN GOTHIC, he also painted the above titled “THE BIRTHPLACE OF HERBERT HOOVER, WEST BRANCH, IOWA.
And why am I sending this? Well, cropped a bit, look at what is on the President’s clothesline! Keep ‘em buttoned, Joe.”
Yep, sure enough, there is Hoover's Union Suit. Thanks, Joe! ...Chris
You can read all about the presidential Union Suits of John F. Kennedy and Calvin Coolidge in my posting, “Presidential Underwear,” May 26, 2016. In another posting, “Presidential Underwear, Abe Lincoln's Union Suit?” dated July 27, 2016, I discuss the improbability of Lincoln and his sons wearing Union Suits back in the mid-1800's.
|American Gothic |
by Grant Wood, 1930
Art Institute of Chicago
Hey, Fellas: as you can see by this and other guest contributor postings, I am always encouraging fans of union suits to email me stories, photographs, anecdotes, and life experiences in their one-piece Long Underwear. Let me hear from you today! Email to: email@example.com