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Born in Germany in 1895, Emil Ganso was apprenticed to a local baker where he was later fired, which allowed him to pursue work as an artist. In 1914 he enrolled in the National Academy’s School of Fine Arts. His work impressed Erhard Weyhe, who bought his entire portfolio for his gallery. Ganso showed his work at the Weyhe Gallery from 1925-1936. He spent summers at the Woodstock artist’s colony, where he taught classes in printing. From 1935 until 1937, he was part of the Federal Arts Project in New York. In 1938, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts awarded him the Pennell Memorial Medal, and in 1940 he started teaching in Wisconsin at Lawrence College. His career at Lawrence College was cut short by his death in 1941.