Lunenburg Art Gallery Collections

Earl Bailly

The town of Lunenburg and the Lunenburg Art Gallery proudly present an online gallery of selected works by Earl Bailly. A son of the town, Earl was severely crippled as a child by polio, yet lived a wonderfully happy and productive life. 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 the remarkable talent exhibited here.

Determined to live life fully, Earl travelled widely, assisted by his brother Don. He loved to sail in his small boat, lashed into a custom harness of his own design. He exhibited in major cities in Canada and the United States, and sailed to the Chicago World Fair in 1933 in Lunenburg's famous schooner Bluenose. In Bermuda, Earl found fresh subjects, where the Eugene Outerbridge family opened a gallery to display his works exclusively.

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. Again, the only stipulation was that they were never to be sold.

Other kind-hearted people have also donated Bailly paintings to the Lunenburg Art Gallery: Don and Audrey Armstrong, Mr. and Mrs. Franklin Hambleton, Lezlie Morgan, Joyce Mitchell. All of these paintings are on display at the LAG.

The paintings from both the Meldrum collection and the Spahr collection have been distributed throughout Lunenburg. The majority of them can be viewed in the LAG, in the Lunenburg Town Hall, and also in the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic.