Daisy Bailey

Other Names: Mrs. Robert L. Bailey

“Hammering the copper is half the fun. You get rid of your animosity.”
– Daisy Bailey (The London Free Press, April 6, 1962)

Daisy Bailey was born in Toronto, Ontario and attended the University of Toronto where she earned her Bachelor of Arts. In London, Ontario, she received instruction from Herb Ariss at
H. B. Beal Secondary School, and by 1970 was teaching art at the school herself. While Bailey’s early practice was centred around painting and ceramics, she would ultimately concentrate on working with copper enamel.

In the early 1960s the Western Art League successfully urged the London art community to establish a local art centre – a concept which had initially come from Daisy Bailey, her fellow League member Margot Ariss, and the League’s President from 1959 to 1961, Shirley Andreae – and aided in its creation. However, the resulting London Artists’ Workshop, located at 330 Dundas Street, only lasted approximately two years, between 1960 and 1962.

In 1968, Bailey was commissioned by London, Ontario’s Jewish community to create an enamel on copper mural to be placed at Centennial Hall to celebrate Canada’s centennial. Entitled Canada’s People, the 5-by-2-foot (1.5 by 0.6 m.) mural was made up of 27 segments and was a tribute to the many diverse groups that together comprise the population of London – and by extension, Canada. Another of Bailey’s commissioned works, the multi-paneled enamel on copper mural Blizzard/Thaw, was displayed in the MacDonald Block at the Ontario Legislative buildings in Queen’s Park, Toronto, Ontario.

In the fall of 1969, Daisy Bailey was among 17 London artists represented at an exhibition coordinated by Nancy Geddes Poole at Stratford, Ontario’s Rothman Gallery. Among the other participating artists were Margot Ariss, Herb Ariss, Jack Chambers, Robert Fones, Patterson Ewen. Connie Jefferess, Tony Urquhart, and Edward Zelenak. The exhibition, showcasing the work those 17 artists had created during the preceding spring and winter, was therefore called London S.W.17.

Jewelry created by Bailey was displayed at Nancy Poole’s Studio (London, Ontario), as well as the Royal Ontario Museum, in 1970. In 1971, Daisy Bailey was to have held a retrospective exhibition covering the previous 24 years of her work at Nancy Poole’s Studio in London, Ontario, but the show was postponed. Bailey passed away in 1972, and the show, now a memorial exhibition in her honour, took place in 1973. In the winter of 1973, Bailey’s work appeared at the Art Gallery of Ontario’s art jewelry exhibition, alongside works by Picasso.

Biography by Natalka Duncan and Luvneet K. Rana



“Art at Queen’s Park: The Macdonald Block – Blizzard/Thaw – Daisy Bailey.” Ontario, Ministry of Government and Consumer Services.

Crawford, Lenore. “Five-foot mural gift of Jewish Community.” The London Free Press, January 13, 1968.

Crawford, Lenore. “London jewelry-makers featured in art show.” The London Free Press, December 1, 1970.

Crawford, Lenore. “Memorial to artist: Daisy Bailey exhibit a revelation.” The London Free Press, February 22, 1973.

Crawford, Lenore. “Salute to Daisy Bailey.” Daisy Bailey Memorial Exhibition, February 20 – March 8, 1973, Nancy Poole’s Studio, London, Ontario. London, Ontario: Nancy Poole’s Studio, Ltd., 1973. Exhibition pamphlet.

“Daisy Bailey – Biography.” In Daisy Bailey Memorial Exhibition, February 20 – March 8, 1973, Nancy Poole’s Studio, London, Ontario. London, Ontario: Nancy Poole’s Studio, Ltd., 1973. Exhibition pamphlet.

Gormley, Sheila. “Copper Exciting Medium for Artist’s Creative Skill.” The London Free Press,
April 6, 1962.

MacDonald, Colin S. “Bailey, Daisy (Mrs. Robert L. Bailey).” A Dictionary of Canadian Artists,
5th ed., Volume I, (A-F). Ottawa, Ontario: Canadian Paperbacks Publishing Ltd., 1997.

McMann, Evelyn de R. Biographical Index of Artists in Canada. Toronto, Ontario: University of Toronto Press. 2003.

McMann, Evelyn de R. Royal Academy of Arts: Exhibitions and Members 1880-1979.
Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1981.

Poole, Nancy Geddes. The Art of London, 1830-1980. London, Ontario: Blackpool Press, 1984.

See also:
Shirley Andreae; Margot Ariss; Lenore Crawford; Connie Jefferess; Nancy Geddes Poole

Timeline Entries:
London, Ontario: London S.W.17 at the Rothman Gallery, Stratford, Ontario


McIntosh Gallery, Red Doors (Thumbnail)

Click here for information about works by Daisy Bailey
in McIntosh Gallery’s collection

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