Untitled Document

Artist Biography

 Edward Gay was born near Mullingar, County Westmeath, Ireland. In 1848, he emigrated with his family to Albany, New York. He began his art studies under the tutelage of Albany artist James Hart, and accompanied Hart and other painters on a sketching trip to Lake George. Among the Albany artists that Gay knew well were Erastus Dow Palmer, George Boughton, and Homer Dodge Martin. Gay began to exhibit at the National Academy of Design in 1858, and remained a regular exhibitor there throughout his career.

Gay left for Europe in 1862, and enrolled in the art academy in Karlsruhe, Germany. He studied under Johann Wilhelm Schirmer and Carl Fredrich Lessing. When Gay returned to Albany in 1864, he married Martha Fearey, and became an active member of the city’s art community.

Gay took a studio in the Dodsworth Building in New York in 1868. In 1869, he was elected an associate member of the National Academy. The follower year he moved his family to then-rural Mount Vernon, New York, which became one of his favorite landscape settings.

Gay and his wife went to Europe in 1881, and while visiting England he became an enthusiastic follower of John Constable. His study of Constable and his familiarity with Barbizon painting inspired his art over the next two decades. In 1883, Gay went to Europe again and stopped in Ireland on his way home. For a proposed magazine article, he went to Egypt in 1890 with M. de Forest Bolmer.

After the turn of the century, Gay often went to Florida during the winter, sometimes stopping in South Carolina. In 1905 he built a summer home in Cragsmoor, New York, an artists’ colony that included such painters as Edward Lamson Henry and George Inness, Jr. One-man shows of Gay’s work were held in New York at the Clausen Art Rooms in 1908 and the McDonough Art Gallery in 1914.

Edward Gay's paintings are found in private collections and important museums around the country, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC; Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.