Wanda Gag is best remembered for her illustrated children's books, such as Millions of Cats, but she also produced inventive prints that deal with the forces of nature and infuse everyday objects with special character and energy. In this richly illustrated volume, Audur H. Winnan provides a fascinating account of Gag's life and printmaking art, exploring the ways in which Gag's work reflects not only her Minnesota childhood but her immigrant roots and bohemian life.
Using excerpts form Gag's expressive diaries and letters, Winnan fleshes out a portrait of the artist. With extraordinary candor, Gag describes her intimate personal thoughts and experiences, and her friendships and encounters with such notable artists as Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O'Keefte, Adolf Dehn, and Rockwell Kent. Throughout her writings, Gag reflects on her career, the restrictions placed on women, and her sexual desires. This portrayal reveals both the internationally recognized artist who drew inspiration from van Gogh and Cezanne, and the vibrant, erotic woman who admitted to being amazed by her own passions.
Winnan follows Gag's journey from New Ulm, Minnesota, to Harlem nightclubs to art school to her small farm in New Jersey. The artist's oeuvre and frank diaries reveal her as a woman ahead of her time.
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Karen Nelson Hoyle is professor and curator of the Children’s Literature Research Collection at the University of Minnesota. She has served as chair of the Caldecott Award committee and member of the Newbery Award Committee. She is the author of Danish Children’s Literature in English.
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