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Walter Gay papers, 1870-1937, 1980

Walter Gay papers, 1870-1937, 1980

Gay, Walter, 1856-1937

Painter

Representative image for Walter Gay papers, 1870-1937, 1980

This site provides access to the papers of Walter Gay in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2015, and total 2,600 images.

This collection was processed and digitized with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Collection Information

Size: 1.2 linear feet

Summary: The papers of expatriate painter Walter Gay measure 1.2 linear feet and date from 1870-1937 with some photocopied items and a photograph dated 1980. The collection includes photocopies of two letters, scrapbooks assembled by Gay's wife, Matilda Gay, with correspondence, photographs, exhibition catalogs, price lists for artwork, and clippings, photocopies of a scrapbook of clippings, four of Gay's sketchbooks, three photographs of Gay, and a photograph of a painting by Gay.

Biographical/Historical Note

Expatriate painter Walter Gay (1856-1937) was born in Hingham, Massachusetts.

Provenance

The Walter Gay papers were donated in two 1980 accessions. Scrapbooks, transcripts and photographs of Gay were donated by Mrs Bronson (Sophie Gay) Griscom, niece of Walter Gay. Sketchbooks, photocopies of a scrapbook, photocopies of letters, and a photograph of artwork were donated by John Gay, nephew of Walter Gay.

Funding

This collection was processed and digitized with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Location of Originals

  • Reel 2802, letters and scrapbook: Originals retained by donor John Gay.
  • Reel 2139, fr. 339-348, three photographs of Gay in Paris studio, in an exhibition hall, and a photographic portrait of Gay: Originals returned to donor, Mrs. Bronson Griscom, after microfilming.

A Finding Aid to the Walter Gay Papers, 1870-1937, 1980, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.gaywaltp
Author
Finding aid prepared by Stephanie Ashley
Biographical/Historical note
Expatriate painter Walter Gay (1856-1937) was born in Hingham, Massachusetts. He married heiress Matilda E. Travers, and in 1876 the couple moved to Paris where Gay became a pupil of Leon Bonnat. The couple lived in an apartment on the Left Bank and in 1907 purchased Chatea Le Breau near the Forest of Fontainebleau.
Gay painted figure studies of French peasant life but was best known for his interiors of turn of the century private homes furnished by decorators such as Elsie de Wolfe and novelist Edith Wharton, who formed part of the large and stylish circle of friends in which the Gays circulated.
Gay received honorable mention in the Paris Salon of 1885 and a gold medal in 1888. He became an Officer of the Legion of Honor and his works can be found in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Tate Gallery, London.
Arrangement note
Due to the small size of the collection the papers are arranged as one series.
Series 1: Walter Gay Papers, 1870-1937, 1980 (Boxes 1-4; 1.2 linear feet)
Scope and Contents note
The papers of expatriate painter Walter Gay measure 1.2 linear feet and date from 1870-1937 with some photocopied items and a photograph dated 1980. The collection includes photocopies of two letters, scrapbooks assembled by Gay's wife, Matilda Gay, with correspondence, photographs, exhibition catalogs, price lists for artwork, and clippings, photocopies of a scrapbook of clippings, four of Gay's sketchbooks, three photographs of Gay and a photograph of a painting by Gay.
Provenance
The Walter Gay papers were donated in two 1980 accessions. Scrapbooks, transcripts and photographs of Gay were donated by Mrs Bronson (Sophie Gay) Griscom, niece of Walter Gay. Sketchbooks, photocopies of a scrapbook, photocopies of letters, and a photograph of artwork were donated by John Gay, nephew of Walter Gay.
Location of Originals
  • Reel 2802, letters and scrapbook: Originals retained by donor John Gay.
  • Reel 2139, fr. 339-348, three photographs of Gay in Paris studio, in an exhibition hall, and a photographic portrait of Gay: Originals returned to donor, Mrs. Bronson Griscom, after microfilming.
Processing Information note
The Walter Gay papers were microfilmed on Reels 2137-2130, and Reel 2802 after accession. All accessions were merged and processed and a finding aid prepared by Stephanie Ashley in June 2014. The collection was processed and digitized in 2014 with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Additional Forms Available

The collection was digitized in 2014 and is available via the Archives of American Art's website.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Walter Gay papers, 1870-1937, 1980. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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