Before and after writing her famous children’s book Millions of Cats (1928), Wanda Gág was a printmaker, creating lithographs as intimate and exuberant as her books. Meanwhile, fellow Minnesotan Elizabeth Olds was writing herself into history by helping to transform screenprinting, traditionally a commercial process, into a medium for fine art. Her efforts, part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal program of arts patronage, enabled artists to put low-cost art in the hands of a mass audience.
Olds’s prints used humor, satire, and a socially conscious viewpoint to document American life during the unsettled 1930s. Gág’s work came from a more private place: a spinning wheel, tree, or sleeping cat was enough to ignite her one-in-a-million imagination.
This exhibition celebrates these two Minnesota-grown artists with prints, drawings, and preparatory materials for their children’s books.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website