GAY, Bernard

1921 - 2010

Bernard Gay

Bernard Gay was born at Exmouth, Devon on 11 April 1921, son of Ernest Garfield Gay (17 August 1895-) and his wife Marguerite Charlotte née Allen (26 July 1894-1971), who married at Newton Abbot, Devon in 1916. After a difficult upbringing, Bernard left school at the age of 14 and in 1939 was a cinema attendant living at 20 Formosa Street, Maida Vale, London with his widowed mother and a sibling sister Patricia Woodroofe, born 10 March 1919. After various other jobs Bernard, at the start of the Second World War, joined the merchant navy and travelled the world, being introduced to art by Muriel Hannah (1906-2009) 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 for 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, Bernard was living at Church Cottage, Cookley, near Halesworth, Suffolk and married secondly at Islington in 1984, Catherine Ann Wilson (9 October 1952-1995) and in the late 1980s, they moved to Herefordshire where he became a board director at Hereford College of Arts. Bernard Gay died, after a short illness, on 15 March 2010 being survived by four children.

Works by This Artist