Godel & Co., New York
Questroyal Fine Art, LLC, New York, 1999
Private collection, Darien, Connecticut, 1999
Questroyal Fine Art, LLC, New York, 2008
Private collection, Connecticut, 2009
A careful examination of Mr. Gay's work will do much to aid the hopeful feeling existing and growing in regard to the capability of American artists. —New York Evening Express, 1881[i]
It is for their composition more particularly that we would commend these landscapes of Mr. Gay's to many of his juniors...These are very free impressions of American landscape, North and South, full of sentiment, rich in atmosphere and tone. —New York Tribune, 1914[ii]
The Inness Connection: Although a gifted artist in his own right, Edward Gay found that having friends in high places was never a bad thing. One such colleague was George Inness, who wrote to Gay congratulating him on his 1885 National Academy of Design exhibition submission: "I will now express to you my belief that your picture of 'Washed by the Sea' is the finest piece of nature in tone and colour that has ever been on our walls." Inness continues to note how the painting won its prominent hanging position, writing, "There was at first some opposition to my opinion, but after I had got it hung in its present place there was general agreement that I was about right."[iii] Gay was equally willing to show his friend appreciation, naming one of his sons after the venerated artist. In 1905, just over ten years after Inness's death, Gay was awarded the George Inness Gold Medal from the National Academy of Design––a fitting commemoration of the artists' friendship and talent.
Gay's works are in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Arkell Museum at Canajoharie, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Canton Museum of Art, and Maier Museum of Art.
[i] "Fine Art Notes," New York Evening Express, March 7, 1881. Reel D30, Edward Gay Family Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
[ii] "Pictures by Edward Gay, Neville Lytton and Others," New York Tribune, March 29, 1914, Watson Library Vertical Files, Edward Gay, artist file. The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
[iii] George Inness to Edward Gay, November 16, 1885. Reel D30, Edward Gay Family Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.