Edward Gay and Gay family papers, 1852-1983

Gay, Edward, b. 1837 d. 1928
Landscape painter
Active in New York, N.Y.; Cragsmoor, N.Y.; Mount Vernon, N.Y.

Collection size: 2.6 linear feet (partially microfilmed on 2 reels)

Collection Summary: Correspondence, photographs, sketchbooks, printed material, writings, and biographical material on Edward, Martha Feary, Duncan, and Ingovar Gay.

REEL D30: Letters to Edward Gay from artists and others, concerning activities of the Artists Fund Society, New York Art Guild, exhibitions, travel and business; sketchbooks; photographs; a marriage certificate, 1864, lease and mortgage; exhibition catalogs and clippings; business papers and clippings on the Artists Fund Society; and art criticism written by Martha Fearey Gay, Edward's wife, for the Albany Evening Journal, 1885-1887. Among the correspondents are American Art Union, William J. Arkell, M. Deforest Bolmer, George H. Boughton, John G. Brown, Andrew F. Bunner, Jasper F. Cropsey, John H. Dolph, A. Duprat, Theodore F. Dwight, John M. Falconer, Seymour J. Guy, James M. Hart, William Hart, Daniel Huntington, George Inness, Eastman Johnson, H. R. Latimer, Oliver I. Lay, William H. Lippincott, Frank J. Mather, Thomas Moran, Levi P. Morton, James C. Nicoll, Erastus D. Palmer, Gardner A. Reckard, T. Addison Richards, David P. Secor, Lars G. Sellstedt, Charles E. Smith, Watson C. Squire, James F. Sutton, J. M. Toucey, Townsend & Evans, William Winter, and A. H. Wyant.

REEL 866: Edward's correspondence with Martha and Duncan Gay, Oliver I. Lay, George H. Boughton, Bayard Taylor, Henry Wolf, and George H. Smillie; legal documents; photographs of Edward (one by Giles Bishop and Son, 1912); exhibition catalogs and clippings; an essay "Potatoes and Point" and a book "The Social and Cultural Development of Mount Vernon, New York" by Dorothy Gay Gordon.

UNMICROFILMED: Biographical material, ca. 1901-1970, on Duncan, Edward, and his wife Martha and his daughter Ingovar; legal documents, ca.1890-1915, including Edward's citizenship papers and will; family correspondence, ca. 1863-1974, consisting of letters to and from Edward, ca. 1863-1914, letters from Duncan to his parents from St. Augustine, Fla., ca. 1882-1883, a letter to Duncan from Louis C. Tiffany, Feb. 27, 1891, letters to Ingovar from Martha, ca. 1888-1931, relating to family matters; and correspondence, ca. 1965-1974, from collectors, museums, and historical institutions concerning ownership of Edward's paintings.

Also found are clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs; a portion of Martha's journal, undated; three small oil on canvas sketches of apple blossoms by Edward; an article from "The Graphic," January 13, 1894, with a reproduction of a painting by Edward; Duncan's sketches and drawings of his trip to St. Augustine, 1882-1883, a sketchbook from his trip to Japan, China, and Indonesia, 1909, a watercolor sketch for a stained glass memorial window, and drawings for his house; and slides of Duncan's artwork. Photographs, undated and 1901-1902, include Edward and Martha in their homes and studio in Mt. Vernon, Stoneridge and Cragsmoor, New York, family members, Duncan and his trip to Asia, several family snapshots of Edward's children, Dorothy, Helen, Ingovar, Ruth, William and their families, family trips to Italy, Canada, Connecticut, and New York. Photographs from June 29, 1880 trip to the Erie Canal depict Edward and other members of the New York Artist Fund Society.

Biographical/Historical Note: Edward: Landscape painter; Mt. Vernon and Cragsmoor, New York, married Martha Feary, an art critic. Their son Duncan was also an artist. Edward was born in Dublin, Ireland. He moved to the United States in 1848. He studied art in Albany, New York and Karlsruhe, Germany. Member of the Artists Fund Society, National Academy of Design, and the Lotos Club. He exhibited in museums and galleries throughout America and he painted murals for public libraries in Mt. Vernon and Bronxville, New York.

Material on reel D30 donated by Mrs. Dorothy Gay Gordon, daughter of Edward Gay, December 1959. Material on reel 866 donated by Richard Coker, grandson of Edward, March 1974. Unmicrofilmed material donated by Susanne Gay Linville, daughter of Duncan Gay, 1983, 1987, and 1995.

How to Use this Collection

  • Microfilm reels D30 and 866 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
  • Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives Washington, D.C., Research Center.
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