Wanda Hazel Gag (Gag rhymes with jog
, not bag
) was born March 11, 1893 in New Ulm
, Minnesota. She was the first of seven children
, raised by her mother
after her father
died when she was 15.
Wanda's father, Anton Gag, strived to be a painter and a photographer, and did quite well in his photographic persuits. After marrying Elisabeth Biebel (who he first met when he hire]d her as photographer's assistant) in 1892, they moved to a New Ulm house Anton had originally drawn plans for.
It was not a modest house, to say the least. Most of their neighbors looked badly on the "extravagances" of a skylight, and many wide windows. Anton painted the house himself, and the interior, should one have the fortune to tour the house, is quite nice, with hand painted animals and cherubs, but not in a cheesy way.
The Gags were an artistic family, and the arts were strongly encouraged. Numerous arts were avalible to all of the Gag children. Anton taught Wanda how to draw when she was two years old, and Wanda drew and wrote stories on a regular basis.
Wanda continued writing and drawing on a regular basis. She wrote in journals every day; it became almost an obsession. She went to the St. Paul Art School, and soon transfered to the one in Minneapolis.
She moved to New York to continue her studies, and ended up changing her last name from Gag to Gág, so that people would pronounce it correctly.
After work as a commercial artist, she went back to writing and drawing.
In 1928, she published her most famous work, Millions of Cats. She would soon achieve fame and recognition for it.
Wanda Gág went on to publish many other books, a few being The Funny Thing, Snippy and Snappy, and Nothing at All.
Wanda Gág died June 27, 1946 in New York City. She was, IMO, one of the best children's book writers/artists of all time. Millions of Cats was a childhood favorite for me. I hope all Everything2 users who have children (or, for that matter, those without) have a book or two by her.
If you want to, the Gag house has tours every week. I strongly suggest going.