Edward B. Gay

(American, 1837 – 1928)

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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City
  • Canajoharie Library & Art Gallery, Canajoharie, NY
  • 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
  • Westchester Woman's Club, Mount Vernon, NY
  • Brigham Young University, Provo, UT