Anna Gaskell was born in 1969 in Des Moines, Iowa, she lives and works in New York. In 1992 Gaskell received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Art Institute of Chicago and in 1995 she received her Master of Fine Arts from Yale University, New Haven. She has also studied at the Bennington College, Vermont.
Gaskell mainly works with staged photography, carefully planning and staging the scenes in beforehand. In her early career she worked with self-portraits, but she soon began to depict other women in historic narratives and in familiar tales, for example by Lewis Carroll and the Grimm brothers.
Selected solo exhibitions include Yvon Lambert, New York (2014); The Box, Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus (2007); Vizcaya Museum and Garden, Miami (2007); Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica (2006) and Art 36 Basel, Basel (2005). Group exhibitions include Goldie Paley Gallery, Moore College of Art and Design, Philadelphia (2008); National Museum of Women in American Art, Washington (2008); Statens Museum fur Kunst, Copenhagen (2008) Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall (2005); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2002–2003) and Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (2002–2003).
Gaskell has been honored with a number of grants including Bohen Foundation Grant (2010); Best Documentary Short Film, Los Angeles Film Festival (2009); The Nancy Graves Foundation Grant (2002) and The Citibank Private Bank Photography Prize (2002).