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 Edward B. Gay  (1837 - 1928)

About: Edward B. Gay
 

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Lived/Active: New York / Ireland      Known for: landscape, rural life, still-life and mural painting

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BIOGRAPHY for Edward Gay
Facts/Data
Birth
1837 (Dublin, Ireland)
 
Death
1928 (Mount Vernon, New York)

Lived/Active
New York / Ireland

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landscape, rural life, still-life and mural painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Growing up in Albany, New York, Edward Gay was among the hundreds of thousands of Irish emigrants who relocated to the United States and Canada in the wake of the Potato famine.  After settling in Albany, Gay began his art studies with the local Hudson River School artist James Hart, also an emigrant of the British Isles.  By 1858, at the age of twenty one, Gay was exhibiting at the National Academy of Design in New York.

By 1868, he had moved to New York City, only to relocate to Mount Vernon two years later to accommodate the needs of a growing family.  He would spend the next fifty-eight years painting southern Westchester County.  Early on he was the typical Hudson River School artist, but later he adopted a Barbizon manner by capturing the mood and light of many of Westchester County's quiet nooks and crannies.

Not only was he long lived, but he was very successful.  Gay was a member of the both the Century Association and the prestigious Union League Club of New York.  His works found their way into many museums and public collections; among them are the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; the New-York Historical Society, NY; Westchester Woman's Club, Mt. Vernon, NY; Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO; Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, Utica, NY; and the Union League Club, New York, NY.


Source:
Alexander Boyle, who was featured on the television show "America's First River, Bill Moyers on the Hudson.  Boyle worked with the Metropolitan Museum of Art as the Assistant Director of a film, "American Paradise, the World of the Hudson River School" and from 1988 to 2001 was Vice-President of Godel & Co. Fine Art in New York where he bought, sold and wrote about the artists of the Hudson River School, American marine painting, and American Impressionism.

Biography from Williams American Art Galleries:
Edward B. Gay was born in Dublin, Ireland on 25 April 1837 and immigrated with his family to Albany, New York in 1848.  Three local Albany artists, James and William Hart and George Boughton, recognized Gay’s talent when he was a child and encouraged him to pursue his talents.

Gay traveled to Europe and settled in Karlsruhe, Germany in 1862 where he studied with historical painters Johann Schirmer and Karl Friedrich Lessing. He returned to the United States in 1864, and began devoting his time to painting landscapes.  Gay moved with his wife and children to Mount Vernon, New York and incorporated the magnificent landscapes into his work.

An active participant in the Albany art community, he was first influenced by the Hudson River School.  However, during a trip to Europe he encountered the work of John Constable of the Barbizon School and was struck by the “new Progressive spirit” of Constable’s work.  While traveling through England and France, he discovered “new approaches to color and light.” 

He began spending time at the artist colony of Cragsmoor, New York where he bought a summer home in 1905.  Despite his influences and training with artists of the Barbizon school and others, Gay identified with no particular school or category; rather, he “[painted] what he saw – no more, no less.”

He died in Mount Vernon in 1928.

Studied                               
In Albany James and William Hart and George Boughton           
In Karlsruhe, Germany with Johann Schirmer and Karl Friedrich Lessing       
                               
Member                               
National Academy of Design, (Associate, 1868; Full Academician, 1907)       
New York Watercolor Club                       
Art Fund Society                           
Lotos Club                           
Century Association                           
Union League Club, NY                       
                               
Exhibited                               
Brooklyn Art Association, 1868-1886, 1891                   
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 1876, 1890, 1895-1898           
American Artists Association, 1887 (prize)                   
Midwinter Exhibition, San Francisco, 1885 (medal)               
New Orleans Exposition, 1885 (medal)                   
Art Institute of Chicago, 1888, 1889, 1895, 1898, 1900, 1902, 1904, 1908, 1910, 1916   
Pan-America Exposition, Buffalo, 1901 (medal)               
Society of American Artists, 1903 (Shaw Prize)               
St. Louis Exposition, 1904 (medal)                   
National Academy of Design, 1867-1918, 1921, 1927, 1929 (1905, gold medal)   
Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1908                       
                               
Work   
Mount Vernon Public Library, Mount Vernon, NY
F. R Chambers Library, Bronxville, NY
Layton Museum, Milwaukee
Layton School of Art, Milwaukee
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Minneapolis Museum of Fine Arts
National Gallery of Art
Art Institute of Chicago
Montclair Art Museum
New York Historical Society
Smith College Museum of Art
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Mattatuck Historical Society
Minnesota Museum of Art, St. Paul
Union League Club, NY
George Walter Vincent Smith Museum, Springfield, MA
Canajoharie Library & Art Gallery, Canajoharie, NY
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City
New York State Historical Association, Cooperstown, NY
Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute
Tewksberry Collection, NY
Governor’s Mansion, Albany, NY
Mount Vernon High School, Mount Vernon, NY
Brigham Young University, Provo, UT
Westchester Woman’s Club, Mount Vernon, NY

References:
Austin, Artists of the Litchfield Hills; Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, American Art in Upstate New York;  Carbone, “At Home With Art,” American Art Review (Dec. 1995);  Carr, Revisiting the White City, American Art at the 1893 World’s Fair;  Cohen, Tonalism: An American Interpretation of Landscape; Coker, Portrait of an American Painter, Edward Gay 1837-1928; Cranford, “Art of the Erie Canal,” American Art Review (Mar. 1996); Falk (ed.), Who Was Who in American Art; Genesco, SV College, NY, Hudson River School; Gerdts, Art Across America; Groce & Wallace, The New York Historical Society’s Dictionary of Artists in America 1564-1866; Huff, “The Hudson River School,” American Art Review (Feb. 2002); Mattatuck Historical Society, The Connecticut Artists Collection; Opitz (ed.), Mantle Fielding’s Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors & Engravers; Pisano, The Long Island Landscape; Schmit (ed.), Encyclopedia of New Orleans Artists; Severens, “American Impressionism in Context,” American Art Review (Feb. 2002); Shipp, American Art Colonies 1850-1930; Smith, “Images of Northwest Connecticut,” American Art Review (June 2003); Spanierman, 110 Years of American Art: 1830-1940; Sullivan, The Hudson River School, An Annotated Bibliography; Weber, The Apple of America, The Apple in 19th Century American Art; Zellman, 300 Years of American Art


Biography from Roughton Galleries,Inc:
Edward Gay was a landscape painter who really didn't fit into any particular category or school, although early in his career he followed in the footsteps of the Hudson River School artists, sketching in upstate New York and creating paintings in his studio. He learned technique from several artists with whom he studied, but was not markedly influenced by them. His paintings depicted what he saw - no more, no less. He did not romanticize or idealize.

Born in Ireland in 1837, Edward Gay came to America with his parents in 1848 in the wake of the Potato Famine. They settled in Albany, New York. He had to go to work as a boy, but showed a talent for drawing. Encouraged by the Hart brothers, James and William, and George Boughton--all successful local painters, he began to study with them.

In 1862, at the urging of the Harts, he went to Karlsruhe, Germany to continue his studies under Johann Schirmer and Karl Friedrich Lessing, both conventional historical painters. Although he learned much, Gay felt he was wasting his time.

When he returned to the United States in 1864, he began painting the large landscapes that were in vogue. Three years later, with his wife and growing family, he moved to Mount Vernon, just north of New York City. The area was open farmland, with sunny meadows and orchards stretching along Long Island Sound. These were the scenes that Gay painted for much of his life. He also painted in South Carolina, where his daughter had married into a family.

In 1905, he built a summer home at Cragsmoor in upstate New York and painted there, as well as on frequent trips to Europe. It was for his paintings of the rivers, fields and shores near Mount Vernon, where he died in 1928, however, that he was best known.

He did fine art painting on the side until the early 1920s and had his first solo exhibition in 1936.


Biography from Charleston Renaissance Gallery:
EDWARD GAY (1837-1928)

A prolific painter of landscapes, Edward Gay immigrated to America with his parents in the wake of the Irish Potato Famine in 1848. Arriving in Albany, New York, he was required by the family's situation to go to work as a young boy.  When he displayed a talent for drawing, he began study with select local painters, including George Boughton and the Hart brothers.

In 1862, he went to Karlsruhe, Germany to continue his education under the conventional historical painters Johann Schirmer and Karl Frederich Lessing. Gay, whose work defied strict categorization, believed the time there ill spent and returned to the United States in 1864.

Gay ultimately settled with his family in Mount Vernon, New York, where he painted the area's bucolic farmland, pastures, and orchards. A summer home in upstate New York provided additional subject matter for his brush, as did regular trips to Europe and at least one visit to the South Carolina Low Country, as evidenced by this atmospheric canvas.

This essay is copyrighted by the Charleston Renaissance Gallery and may not be reproduced or transmitted without written permission from Hicklin Galleries, LLC.

Biography from The Johnson Collection:
A prolific painter of landscapes, Edward Gay immigrated to America with his parents in the wake of the Irish Potato Famine in 1848. Arriving in Albany, New York, the family's situation required him to go to work as a young boy. When he displayed a talent for drawing, he began study with select local painters, including George Boughton and the Hart brothers. In 1862, he went to Karlsruhe, Germany to continue his education under the conventional historical painters Johann Schirmer and Karl Frederich Lessing. Gay, whose work defied strict categorization, believed the time there ill spent and returned to the United States in 1864.

Gay ultimately settled with his family in Mount Vernon, New York, where he painted the area's bucolic farmland, pastures and orchards. A summer home in upstate New York provided additional subject matter for his brush, as did regular trips to Europe and at least one visit to the South Carolina Lowcountry, as evidenced by this atmospheric canvas.

The artist’s work is represented in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, National Academy of Design, New-York Historical Society, and Gibbes Museum of Art.

The Johnson Collection, Spartanburg, South Carolina


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