Skip to main content

Edward Gay and Gay family papers, 1852-1983

Biographical Note

Landscape painter Edward Gay (1837-1928) lived and worked in Mount Vernon and Cragsmoor, New York and was known for his works depicting the local countryside of upstate New York and the Hudson River Valley.
Born in Mullingar, Ireland to Richard and Ellen Gay, his family immigrated to Albany, New York in 1848. After showing an early affinity for art, Gay began his studies in the studio of local landscape painters William and James Hart. Under the Harts' advisement, Gay traveled to Karlsruhe, Germany in 1862 to continue his studies with Johann Wilhelm Schirmer and Karl Friedrich Lessing. After returning to America in 1864, Gay married the art critic Martha Feary and lived for a short time in New York City before moving his family to Mount Vernon and eventually purchasing a home there in 1870. He exhibited in museums and galleries throughout America and painted murals for public libraries in Mount Vernon and Bronxville, New York. Gay was a member of the National Academy of Design, New York Artists' Fund Society, and Lotus Club, and was a recipient of the National Academy's George Inness Gold Medal and the Society of American Artists' Shaw Prize.
Duncan Gay (1865-1948), Edward Gay's eldest son, was also an artist. Duncan worked as a draftsman and designer for Louis Comfort Tiffany, where he remained employed prior to becoming a self-employed artist and stained glass designer.