PEORIA — The giant sculpture of Abraham Lincoln addressing a common man will be replaced later this month at the Peoria Riverfront Museum with a piece by the same artist that is an homage to Grant Wood's iconic "American Gothic" painting.
The 25-foot-tall bronze sculpture by Seward Johnson titled "God Bless America" depicts the Wood painting that shows an Iowa farmer with pitchfork standing next to his daughter.
It will be installed on May 21, museum officials announced Thursday.
“Peoria is surrounded by the world's richest and most productive farm ground,” said museum President and CEO John Morris. “For years we have stood as the Silicon Valley of agriculture technology. The Peoria Riverfront Museum is thrilled to work with Seward Johnson to bring this famous monumental bronze in gratitude for all farmers and farming does for our region and our nation. “
The sculpture will be placed in the same location where the Lincoln piece now stands. It's been previously shown in Chicago; Mesa, Ariz.; Key West, Fla.; and elsewhere.
"Just as the Lincoln sculpture helped usher in the bicentennial celebration, this sculpture really ushers in the commitment by the Peoria Riverfront Museum to showcase farmers and farming," with plans including an agriculture-inspired art exhibit in the works, Morris said.
He noted that the museum holds a "tremendous collection of agrarian landscape paintings" that could be featured on display in conjunction with the sculpture.