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Walter Gay papers, 1870-1937

Biographical 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.