Langdon Clay, longtime head of the Memorial Art Gallery’s education department, passed away following a short illness on November 8, 2012.
During Clay’s 33 years at MAG, he not only headed the education department but also was one of the organizers of MAG’s first Clothesline Festival in 1956. In the early days, he even sold hot dogs and pop at the Festival’s only food stand.
After retiring in 1985, Clay continued to be a familiar presence at MAG, where he was a regular student in Creative Workshop ceramics classes. And his granddaughter, Samantha Clay Reagan, is carrying on the family tradition as the morning registrar and a frequent teacher at the Workshop.
In November 2011, Clay was honored for his “lifetime of prolific service to the arts and history” by the Western New York Association of Historical Agencies. The award cited his long service at MAG and 16 years as curator of the Honeoye Historical Society.
“He was a truly wonderful man and we already miss him dearly,” wrote his son, Daniel, in announcing his death.” Over the past few weeks his health declined rapidly, as you know, but during that time he was able to say good bye to all of his five living children, fourteen grandchildren, two great grandchildren and many friends.”
“He remains one the Gallery heroes,” says director Grant Holcomb. “We are fortunate to have known him.”
A memorial service is being planned for 2013. In the meantime, the family requests that gifts in Lang’s memory be made to the Langdon and Ellen Clay Endowment Fund. How to donate
Pictured: (Above) Lang Clay gives a tour to schoolchildren in 1962. (Right) In the ceramics studio, 2010. Photo by Larry Merrill.
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