This past weekend we took a three day camping trip to New Ulm, Minnesota. It’s about a two hour drive from our home in Minneapolis, and is a town I lived in for about four and a half years as a child (from about age 5.5 to age 10). Besides a fun and relaxing time spent camping, we also did a bit of sight seeing.
Miss M and I both were very excited to visit the Wanda Gag House. Gag is well known as the author of Millions of Cats, and we have enjoyed several of her other picture books as well. Gag lived in New Ulm her entire childhood in this house that is now a museum. I thought perhaps the boys would not be very keen on seeing the house — but they were excited to see it too! So, we all went in to view the house.
This was my first visit to the Gag house as well — The house was not purchased for restoration and preservation until the year after I moved away from New Ulm. The Gag home has been restored in a number of ways to the look it would have had when Wanda and her six siblings lived there. After many, many layers of paint and wall paper were removed, decorative painting and scrollwork done done by Wanda’s father Anton Gag were visible on the walls!
A number of works of Wanda’s art are displayed on the main floor of the house, while works of art by younger sister Flavia (who was also an author and illustrator of children’s books!), and her father Anton are on display on the 2nd floor and in the attic space. We learned many interesting facts about Wanda and her family. One little tidbit I found interesting — the hand lettering featured in Millions of Cats and some of Gag’s other works was not done by Wanda but by one of her younger brothers. What a talented family!
We bought our very own copy of Wanda Gag: The Girl Who Lived to Draw to take home with us. We greatly enjoyed this picture book biography on at least two occasions from the library.
Linking up with Fantastic Foto Field Trips @ HSBA Post!