A Finding Aid to the Walter Gay Papers, 1870-1937, 1980, in the Archives of American Art
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.gaywaltp
Creators:
Gay, Walter, 1856-1937
Dates:
1870-1937
1980
Languages:
Multiple languages
Collection is in English and French.
English; French
Physical Description:
1.2 Linear feet
Repository:
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.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
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.

Arrangement
Arrangement
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)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
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.

Administration
Processing Information
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.
Existence and Location of Copies
The collection was digitized in 2015 and is available via the Archives of American Art's website.
Author
Stephanie Ashley
Sponsor
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
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.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Walter Gay papers, 1870-1937, 1980. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Conditions Governing Use
The Walter Gay papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Conditions Governing Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Scrapbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketchbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- France -- Paris Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Expatriate painters -- France -- Paris Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gay, Matilda Travers Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/