Art and Artists of Brown County: The Gag Family

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Art and Artists of Brown County: The Gag Family


Art and Artists of Brown County launches this summer with paintings created by the Anton Gag family. The exhibit includes several paintings on loan from private collections.

​Anton Gag was born in 1859 in Bohemia, in what is now Tachov County in Czechia. Anton immigrated to the United States in 1873 and he moved to New Ulm around 1880 after living in St. Paul for several years. Shortly after moving to New Ulm, Anton attended an art school in Chicago and studied in Milwaukee. When he returned to New Ulm, Anton began working as a professional artist and photographer. Anton also partnered with other local artists, including Alexander Schwendinger and Christian Heller. The three artists decorated several Minnesota churches at the turn of the 20th century.

Anton married his second wife, Elisabeth “Lissi” Biebl in 1892. In 1894, Anton and Lissi built their family home at 226 North Washington Street, now called the Wanda Gág House. The two had seven children, Wanda, Stella, Thusnelda, Asta, Dehli, Howard, and Flavia. Several of the Gag children were artists as well, though Wanda and Flavia are the most prominent.

The exhibit includes paintings by Anton Gag, and several works by Wanda, Flavia, and a newly donated drawing by Thusnelda Gag. Because of the sensitive nature of artwork, the paintings will be rotated several times during the exhibit.

While the Brown County Historical Society generally encourages personal use photography of its exhibits, no photographs will be allowed in Art and Artists of Brown County.

Art and Artists of Brown County: The Gag Family will be on display through July 2020 on the second floor of the Brown County Historical Society’s museum. Be sure to check back every few months to see the new pieces on display, and consider purchasing a membership with the Historical Society for free admission into the museum. For more information on the exhibit, please contact the BCHS at 507-233-2620.