Vernon Howe Bailey (1874 - 1953 )

Vernon Howe Bailey was born in Camden, New Jersey in 1874. He studied at the Pennsylvania Museum School and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and eventually completed his studies in London and Europe. Bailey is best known for his drawings of city streets in American and Europe, although he was also a proficient painter and printmaker.

In his early career, Bailey worked as a staff artist for the Philadelphia Times and the Boston Herald. He then spent time in several European cities, studying and working as an artist. He became the first artist commissioned by the U.S. government to do illustrations of munitions factories, mining depots, shipyards, gun shops, and naval yards. These illustrations were exhibited throughout the country and published in magazines during World War I. A collection of Bailey’s war illustrations is showcased today in the Musee de la Guerre in France.

Bailey was a member of the Society of Illustrators and the Architectural League of New York. He was also a well respected illustrator of books including The Place and Its People, Charleston, The Story of Harvard, and perhaps his most well known, Lady Baltimore. Vernon Howe Bailey passed away in 1953.

(Laura Levatino, Spring 2007)

New York, View with Woolworth Building

New York, View with Woolworth Building, c.1928, graphite, 18 by 24 inches. Photograph courtesy (see link below).

Baily is most famous for his naval illustrations as well as his architectural illustrations of such cities as London, Berlin, Paris, Rome, Petrograd, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and New Orleans. The drawing above, “New York, with the Woolworth Building,” was created in pencil in 1928. His most famous architectural illustration, titled “Antwerp,” depicts the Dutch city from a high vantage point, with its harbor and its famous cathedral drawn in great detail.

References: (see link below).

Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution website (see link below).

Wikipedia entry, “Vernon Howe Bailey,”

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