Wanda Gag

American , 1893 - 1946

Wanda Gag was born in New Ulm, Minnesota on March 11, 1893, to Elizabeth Biebl and Anton Gag, an artist. She was the oldest of seven children and, studied at the St. Paul Art School from 1913-1914 and at the Minneapolis School of Art from 1914- 1917, and won a scholarship to the Art Students League in New York City 1917- 1918.

Wanda Gag is well known as an author and illustrator of children’s books. She also was a talented artist and produced a large number of prints, drawings and watercolors. An autobiography of her childhood entitled “Growing Pains” reveals the difficulty of her early childhood in New Ulm, but she is best remembered for her classic children’s book, “Millions of Cats”. Although she enjoyed working on children’s books, she wanted to be known as an artist. The reviews of her exhibitions at the Weyhe Gallery during the late 1920’s and 1930’s were very positive. Eight of her prints were selected by The American Institute of Graphic Arts for Fifty Prints of the Year.

As an artist, Wanda Gag loved to experiment. She worked on sandpaper for drawings and watercolors and produced a group of sandpaper lithographic plates. Only one of her sandpaper lithographic plates was editioned. Most of the 122 prints produced by Wanda Gag were lithographs editioned by George Miller. Proofs of the etchings, drypoints, wood engravings, wood and linoleum cuts were printed by Wanda Gag and other artist friends. Her images are of ordinary subjects- garden studies, rolling landscapes, and intimate interior studies. Through her images, we see these subjects in an entirely different perspective, bringing new feelings to the things we normally overlook.
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