Fay Gold is an Atlanta arts legend, the founder and director of Fay Gold Gallery, which opened in 1980 with an inaugural show featuring the work of George Segal. She is known for her groundbreaking exhibitions of artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Cindy Sherman, Robert Rauschenberg, Alex Katz, Keith Haring, Irving Penn, Andres Serrano and Robert Mapplethorpe. Born in Greenville, South Carolina in 1932, Gold was raised in Brooklyn from the age of 2. She earned a BA in speech & drama with a minor in art from Adelphi University in 1953. In 1966, she moved to Atlanta with her husband, Donald, and 3 young children, so he could oversee the daily manufacturing operation of Nantucket Industries, the lingerie company he founded.
In 1968, Gold opened the Fay Gold School of Art in her backyard studio space and taught drawing and oil painting to 60 students a week for 15 years. With her earnings she began collecting pop art from Sidney Janis and Leo Castelli Gallery in New York. She took groups of her students and potential collectors on art tours of New York and Washington, D.C. This inspired her to open her gallery in 1980 with the mission of bringing the New York School of artists to Atlanta.
Gold received the first Big Thinker Award from the Brain Injury Association of Georgia in 1999 and the Israel Bond Award at Temple Sinai. She curated the formative years of Elton John’s collection and raised $750,000 for The Elton John Aids Foundation by creating and chairing two photography and glass art auctions in Atlanta at the Georgian Terrace.
In 2009, after nearly three decades, Gold closed the gallery to focus on her growing private art consulting business. The same year, The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center made her the first recipient of The Nexus Award and organized a tribute event for 400 people in appreciation of her pioneering vision and profound dedication to contemporary art. In 2010, Gold was the commencement speaker at The University of Georgia, Lamar Dodd School of Art. Additional recognitions include The Creating Pride Award, The Diva for Life Award and the Living Arts Award, Atlanta magazine named Fay Gold one of “The 50 Who Made Atlanta” for their 50th Anniversary issue in 2011.
She has served on the boards of The Louise Nevelson Foundation, The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) and was an active member of the International Woman’s Forum, Georgia Chapter. Gold brought international attention to the Atlanta arts scene by exhibiting in prestigious art fairs in New York, Miami, Chicago, Paris, London and Madrid.
She promoted and guided the successful careers of Atlanta artists Radcliffe Bailey, Rana Rochat, Zoe Hersey, Jennifer JL Jones, Paige Harvey, Cynthia Knapp and Michael Barringer. Her corporate clients include Coca-Cola USA, Alston & Bird, Cooper Carry, Deloitte Touche, Equifax, Four Seasons Hotels, Arnall ,Golden & Gregory, Georgia Power, Buckhead Life Restaurant Group and many others. Gold was featured in Joyce Tenneson’s book “Wise Women” and her memoir, “Basquiat’s Cat” will be published in 2024.