Grandma’s Parlor BY WANDA GAG
OF THE LITHOGRAPH Grandma’s Parlor, Wanda Gag has written:
“When, after many years, I returned to Minnesota and again saw the front room
Down At Grandma’s, it seemed to me the epitome of Parlor-a staid,
rather cold place, the clean, dustless repository of objects too ‘artistic’ to be sullied by use.
That, at least, is how it impressed me objectively. Subjectively a host of
childhood associations crowded themselves into the scene,
softened its lines, and gave it a life of its own.
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“Out in the kitchen sat my solid peasant forbears-here in the parlor was this
baroque display, their naive acceptance of mid-Victorian ‘beauty.’
It was amusing but touching too, and so when I began to draw, a
wave of tender tolerant mirth flowed through me and over my paper.
That, I suppose, is why the picture came out as it did: the
Grand Rapids dresser atilt with gaiety, the lamp like a
ridiculous wings for flight, and the two little pitchers
“Technically to get all the richness possible out of the lithographic
medium. An old-fashioned parlor, arranged mainly for show
rather than use, has something theatrical about it; and to portray this,
I used a strong blackand-white design-an almost spotlight
effect-to bring out the rococo pattern against the rich black shadows.”