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James Kay


A Busy Harbor - Scene with an Ocean Liner and Tugboat

A West Highland Harbour

A Winter Woodland Stream

A Woodland Stream, Autumn

Autumnal Landscape

Boats on the Beach

Bookham Church

Boulevard St Martin, Paris

Cairndow, Loch Fyne

Castle Ruin in the Snow

Cattle by a Farm

Cattle Grazing in the Woods

Children on an Ayrshire Beach

Clyde Docks

Clyde Paddle Steamer

Docked, the Clyde

Farm and River

Flower Market, Copenhagen, Denmark

Glasgow Harbour

Haymaking near Helensburgh

In the Launch (The Clyde)

James Watt Wharf

La Place Gambetta, Le Havre



National Assembly, Paris, from the Seine

Notre Dame de Paris

On the Coast,

Paris Sunshine


Princess Street, Edinburgh, Looking East

River Clyde from Lunderston Bay

Sandbank, Holy Loch

Shipping on the Clyde

Shipping on the Clyde

Shipping on the Clyde, Moonlight

Shipping on the Clyde

Silver Birches in Winter

St. Enogat, Brittany

Steam Train in Highlands

Still Life

Street Market

Street Scene Exeter

Street Scene, North Africa

Sunday Morning, Exeter Cathedral

Sunset, Princes Dock, Glasgow


Susie's Castle Loch Fyne

The Battle of Trafalgar

The Bustling River

The Clyde at Govan

The Clyde near Holy Loch

The Coast of Normandy

The Farm Yard

The Madeleine and Rue Royal, Paris

The Show

The South Pier, Oban, Scotland

The Steamer, Helensburgh

The Strand, London

The Tail of the Bank by Night


Unloading the Boats


Vessels on the Clyde, Night

Watching Boats from the Promenade

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Featured Art - Glasgow Harbour by James Kay

Glasgow Harbour

James Kay

James Kay (22 October 1858 - 26 September 1942) was a Scottish artist notable for his paintings of the landscapes and shipping around the River Clyde. Born on the Isle of Arran, Kay spent much of his working life with a studio in Glasgow and living at Portincaple on Loch Long in Argyll and Bute. He was elected to the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour (RSW) in 1906 and to the Royal Scottish Academy in 1938. He had one daughter, artist Violet McNeish Kay.

Early life and training

Kay was born on 22 October 1858 at Lamlash on the Isle of Arran,[1] son of Thomas Kay, a chief petty officer in the British Royal Navy, and Violet McNeish.[2][3] He trained at the Glasgow School of Art.

Primarily a landscape artist, Kay is best known for his portrayals of "the glory of the busy shipping reaches of the Clyde".[2] He showed great originality, influenced by the emergence of impressionism of the 1880s.[4]


Active from the late 1880s, Kay achieved regular recognition at exhibitions in Europe. He exhibited at the Salon in Paris in 1894, and at 1895's La Libre Esthétique in Brussels was awarded an honourable mention. In 1903 his painting Toil and Grime was awarded the silver medal at the Société des Amis des Arts in Rouen, while another work, River of the North, won the gold medal at the Paris Salon. In 1907 his painting Launch of the Lusitania was purchased by the Corporation of Glasgow for the city's art collection.[2]

In 1911, Kay met and married Ada Laval, who was from Mauritius. They had one child, Violet McNeish Kay, in 1914; she went on to become an artist, and died in 1971.[1]

Kay was elected to the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour (RSW) in 1906 and to the Royal Scottish Academy in 1938.[5] Kay was also a member of Glasgow Art Club with which he exhibited.[6]


Fullarton, Donald (2010). "Portincaple was artist's retreat". Helensburgh Heritage. Retrieved 13 May 2010.
Eyre-Todd, George (1909). Who's Who in Glasgow in 1909. Glasgow: Gowans & Gray Limited.
"McNeish/McNish". Retrieved 13 May 2010.
Macmillan, Duncan (1994). Scottish Art in the 20th Century. Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing. pp. 31–32. ISBN 1-85158-630-X.
"James Kay RSA RSW (1858-1942)". Calton Gallery Edinburgh. Retrieved 13 May 2010.
Glasgow Herald article 3 March 1923 ‘’ Glasgow Art Club - a notable spring show’’ Retrieved 2011-08-17

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