GAY, Bernard

1921 - 2010

Bernard Gay

Born in Exmouth, Devon on 11 April 1921, son of Ernest G. Gay and his wife Marguerite née Allen, who married at Newton Abbot, Devon in 1916. He left school at the age of 14 and after various jobs, just before the Second World War joined the merchant navy and travelled the world and was introduced to art by Muriel Hannah in New York. It was not until 1947 that he returned to education, when he studied textile part-time at the Willesden School of Art 1947-1952 under Maurice de Sausmarez (1915-1969) and Eric Taylor (1909-1999) and began drawing classes at St Martins School of Art and quickly established himself as a painter. A parallel career in arts education led him to become principal of the London College of Furniture and a member of Her Majesty's Inspectorate. An artistic all-rounder, author of 'Botticelli' (1961), co-founded the Camden Arts Centre, where he was chairman 25 years and joined the council of the British School in Rome. He set up the Committee for Higher Education in Art and Design and in the early 1970s, helped expand art and design programmes in many of the polytechnics, that later became universities. In 1974 was living at Church Cottage, Cookley, near Halesworth, Suffolk and married secondly at Islington in 1984 Catherine Ann Wilson (1952-1995) and in the late 1980s, they moved to Herefordshire where he became a board director at Hereford College of Arts. He died on 15 March 2010 after a short illness and is survived by four children.





Works by This Painter