Now Reading


Fay Gold has been a mainstay of Atlanta's art scene for decades. photo: David Clifton-Strawn

Atlanta’s icon of art is 91 and busy as ever!

Fay Gold has been a mainstay of Atlanta's art scene for decades. photo: David Clifton-Strawn
Fay Gold has been a mainstay of Atlanta’s art scene for decades. photo: David Clifton-Strawn

Don’t use that “r” word around art connoisseur Fay Gold. The city’s leading lady of art may be 91, but she’s far from retired. The Buckhead resident continues to work with clients as a curator, discovering paintings and sculptures for private homes and businesses. On Sept. 19, Gold is the guest of honor at “Art is Gold – A Tribute to Fay Gold” at the Woodruff Arts Center. The gala, inspired by the one at the Met, celebrates her legacy while raising funds for National Jewish Health, a Denver- based respiratory hospital she has long supported. Here, Gold gives a brief recap of her story.

What brought you to Atlanta in 1966?

I grew up in Brooklyn’s Manhattan Beach, and in 1964 I was married in The Plaza hotel. My husband manufactured women’s lingerie, and he built a factory in Cartersville. We built a house in Atlanta with an art studio in the back. My children were 6 and 10 years old, and when they went to sleep, I’d paint.

Did you set out to have an art business?

No. I was a drama major at Adelphi college, but I was always interested in art. When I lived in New York, I took art lessons every Wednesday night, and after moving to Atlanta, I took more classes for about four years at the High Museum here. Then someone in my neighborhood asked me to teach their children, and I soon had 60. So in 1966, I created Fay’s World and taught children and ladies two days a week. I soon started taking women to New York and D.C., and with the money I earned, I became a major art collector. Soon I was getting art for other people.

When did you open your first gallery?

It was 1980, and I did it because nobody was bringing New York artists to Atlanta. In fact, no one took me seriously. I was Mrs. Gold who taught painting in the backyard. But eventually the gallery became my focus, and I closed the school. I brought contemporary art to the South and developed the careers of many regional artists who are now famous, like Radcliffe Bailey.

What led to closing the gallery in 2009?

We had a bad recession. My husband retired and was home alone. I had an 8,000-square-foot gallery with three openings every month, and I decided, after 29 years, it was time. We had 600 people at the closing. I packed up 15 boxes and gave them to the Rose Library at Emory.

But you never stopped working?

No! I don’t go out looking for the work, but clients come to me because of my reputation. I just did 14 pieces for the newly reopened Chops restaurant. I did a new unit at The Graydon and a townhouse on Peachtree. And I still do some pop-up shows. I’ll have one at the Buckhead Art and Company gallery before and after the Sept. 19 event.

Will you go back to painting?

Sometimes I think I will, but I’m busy working on my memoir, Basquiat’s Cat, that’s coming out next year. It’s been great therapy to remember the things I did as a child. And my home is still filled with art. I share a condo with my daughter, and I kept what I had room for. I had to let go of the sculptures and big pieces that didn’t fit, but I know they’re in happy homes.


View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll To Top