Throughout his life, even while staying at an mental institution, he created thousands of drawings and helped the world to see cats as human-like creatures. His works were used to entertain children (and adults) as well as to advertise various products w hen trade cards and promotions was an infant industry.
He became know as an eccentric and also as a force of social change during the Edwardian period when cats were considered merely as outdoor animals whose sole existence was to keep the rodent population under control. Through his drawings and animal interests, he helped people recognize the wonders of cats and promote interest in animal welfare.
H. G. Wells best portrays Louis Wain when he said in a 1925 broadcast, in an attempt to raise money for the impoverished artist, that three generations had been brought up on Louis Wain's cats and few nurseries were without his pictures. He made the cat his own. He invented a cat style, a cat society, a whole cat world. English cats that do not look and live like Louis Wain cats are ashamed of themselves.
He died in a mental institution in 1939, a month before his 79 birthday.
One of the reasons for this interest, is that people like to study his art form during the many phases of his mental illness. His work can be seen progressing from soft sweet faced felines, through periods where electrical impulses are generating throughout the animals and onto the paper, to totally psychedelic phases where it is hard to distinguish the animal.
His cats graced post cards, playing cards, tea packages and advertisements selling products such as DeBeukelaer cocoa, biscuits, and chocolates, including Jacksons\rquote Hats and Boots, Mazawattee Tea Co., Thom's Castile Soap, and Wildspur Lustre Yarns. The value of these items has continued to increase through the years.
As can be seen by the photos, his use of cats went a long way to advertising different types of products. Some cats are waltzing, others going about everyday chores in a human life, and others playing sports. Obviously, the wonders of his cats went a long way to making everyday pr oducts more worthwhile.
For more information on Louis Wain, see: Wikipedia Louis Wain Page