August Gay (1890-1948)
August Gay was born in Rabou, France, in 1890, and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area with his family at the age of 10, settling in Alameda, on the eastern side of the Bay. Gay found excellent instruction at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco, as well as at the California School of Arts and Crafts nearer his home in Oakland.
Gay was a seminal member of the East Bay painting group, “The Society of Six” which was led by Selden Gile and whose shows were often curated by William Clapp. Together with Gile, Clapp, Maurice Logan, Louis Siegriest, and Bernard Von Eichman, Gay exhibited works that railed against the formal somber tones and decorative themes championed for years in San Francisco Institutes by academics like Arthur Mathews. Inspired by the French fauvists, the Society of Six exhibited strikingly strong colorist works during the early to mid 1920’s.
During much of the time he was exhibiting with the Six, Gay was living in Monterey and sharing a studio with C.S. Price. Also a talented furniture maker, August Gay lived in Monterey and Carmel in the last years of his life, painting and working at Oliver’s Art Supply, where he carved frames. August Gay died in Carmel at the age of 58 in 1948.