1903 - 1977


Overcoming physical challenges to lead a full, productive life, Evern "Earl" Bailly brought attention to Lunenburg with his lifelong artistic accomplishments, and his engaging personality. Stricken with polio at the age of two, he lost the use of his arms and legs.  Spurred by an unquenchable love of the sea, nature, and the fishing life of his community, he learned to paint with a brush clenched in his teeth, developing a remarkable talent for painting. Earl developed a highly refined sense of colour and composition, becoming well read in art theory and practice. He travelled to major cities in Canada, the U.S. and Bermuda, achieving recognition at Galleries for the quality of his Maritime scenes.


Earl’s honours & accomplishments

In 1931 Earl studied art with George P. Ennis, of Eastport, Maine. In 1933, Earl’s reputation had grown and along with his brother Don, Earl sailed to the Chicago World's Fair on the original ‘Bluenose’, with Captain Angus Walters.

In 1957, Earl wrote his autobiography titled Earl Bailly- His Trials and Triumphs.

Over the years Earl’s achievements were recognized and honoured: he was made a life member of the Nova Scotia Society for Artists, two paintings were accepted at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and he received an honorary doctorate from St. Francis Xavier University in 1972.

His work has been purchased by many collectors including Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, William Lyon Mackenzie King and members of Britain’s Royal Family. 


Generous donors of Earl’s paintings

A number of Earl's paintings were acquired by Hazen Meldrum of Cornwall, Ontario. In 1972 he donated 55 paintings jointly to the Town of Lunenburg and to the Lunenburg Art Gallery, the stipulation being that the paintings were never to be sold.


In 2010 another generous donor, Boyd Lee Spahr III of

Philadelphia, PA, bequeathed 19 Bailly paintings and a number of prints

solely to the Lunenburg Art Gallery Society. Again, the only stipulation

was that they were never to be sold.


Others have also donated Bailly paintings to the Lunenburg Art

Gallery Society: Don and Audrey Armstrong, Mr. and Mrs. Franklin

Hambleton, Lezlie Morgan, Joyce Mitchell.  These paintings are

periodically on display at the Lunenburg Art Gallery and will soon

be exhibited in a forthcoming Earl Bailly Collection presentation.


Paintings from both the Meldrum and Spahr collections have been

distributed throughout Lunenburg. The majority of them may be

viewed in the Lunenburg Art Gallery, in the Lunenburg Town Hall,

and also in the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic.

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