Whitman Bailey (1884-1954) was the son of the Providence naturalist William Whitman Bailey (1843-1914) of Brown University. The younger Whitman grew up in Providence and then attended the art school of Howard Pyle in Delaware. Presumably the same Pyle who famously did pirate and medieval adventure-story illustrations. From there he went to work as a jobbing portraitist on the streets of Brooklyn, and took a one-year finishing course at the Pratt Institute.
He returned to Providence in 1914 and spent nine years working as an illustrator for Rhode Island newspapers and magazines. The selection presented in the ebook below is drawn from the 1914-1919 war years and a single magazine, and as such the pictures probably represent only a small part of his Rhode Island output. Nevertheless, those familiar with the life and places of H.P. Lovecraft will recognise many scenes.
He moved away in 1924 and the bulk of his life’s work was dedicated instead to depicting Stamford, where he submitted weekly drawings to the local newspaper for some thirty years.
It is to be hoped that this small insight into his Providence work, created because he depicted many scenes and places known by H.P. Lovecraft, may help to spur local historians to seek out and properly publish more of his work. His Stamford pictures are now held as an archive by the Marcus Research Library at Stamford. From whom some of the above biographical details were found. It’s not known if the Providence pictures might also be in that same archive.