HARRY WILE
(1891 - 1978)

 

Harry Wile was born at Simpson's Corner, Lunenburg County. He worked as a cook for various lumber camps. Like most of the men who worked in the camps, he always carried a knife with him to make ax handles, and an occasional carving. He became adept at whittling miniature axes, which became his trademark. After retiring, he moved to a small hut in North River, Lunenburg County, and began carving horses pulling various types of carts. His work was not particularly refined but had great character. In 1974 he branched out to carving other animals. By 1976 he had gone blind in one eye and his eyesight in the other eye was failing, but he continued to carve on a limited basis. His work was included in the first touring exhibit of contemporary Nova Scotian folk art organized by the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, which opened in November, 1976, and toured Canada between January, 1977 to May, 1978.

Reference: Marie Ellwood, Folk Art of Nova Scotia (1976); Terry Kobayashi and Michael Bird, A Compendium of Canadian Folk Artists (1985); Blake McKendry, An Illustrated Companion to Canadian Folk Art (1999).

 

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Harry Wile Man on HorseHarry Wile Covered Wagon
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