Archibald Kay (1860 - 1935) was born in Glasgow and studied at the Glasgow School of Art under the late Robert Greenlees. He sketched and painted from nature and later studied at the Academie Julien, Paris, under Boulanger, Lefebre and Benjamin Constant.
On his return to Scotland, Kay spent 18 years teaching at various schools in Glasgow before settling in Callander, Perthshire. Despite being city-based for much of his career, Kay was almost exclusively a landscape painter, working frequently in the Western Highlands, Arran and Iona, but also in France, Belgium, Italy, Denmark and Holland.
He made his name with depictions of the glens, rivers and woodland streams of his native Scotland although his style was much influenced by the Dutch School.
He was a member of the Royal Scottish Water-Colour Society from 1892 and in 1905 was elected President of the Glasgow Art Club. He became an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1916 and a full member in 1931. He exhibited regularly with these organisations and with the Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts.
He lost his only son by a sad drowning accident at Appin in 1907.