By profession a medical doctor, Early was first spotted as a promising talent by Ben NICHOLSON in 1946. Befriended by sculptor Denis MITCHELL, he proceeded to begin showing his work together with him in the next three years. The chronology revealed in the Tate's publication St Ives 1939-64 gives the main progress of his exhibiting life in Cornwall. He was said to be a 'natural primitive' painter, with rich, colourful application.
In 1952 he returned to medicine full-time, becoming the registrar of the Derby Mental Hospital. With the Derby Group, he exhibited in 1961 at the Derby Art Gallery. His final solo show was at the Midland Group Gallery in 1965 (Buckman).
His wife Eunice Campbell Early published his biography in 1994, The Magic Shuttle - The Story of Tom Early, St Ives and after.
works and access
Falmouth Art Gallery
Castle Inn, St Ives (with Denis Mitchell) 1947, 1948
Downing's Bookshop 1949
Heal's Mansard Gallery, St Ives January - February 1951
Derby Group, Midland Group
The Book Gallery, St Ives 1994
Belgrave Gallery, London Memorial Exhibition 1994
2012: 'Effortless Brushstrokes', Falmouth Art Gallery 11 Feb - 14 Apr
2012: 'Soaring Spirits', Falmouth Art Gallery 23 June - 8 Sept
2017: Two Poetic Painters (Tom Early & Patrick Hayman), Belgrave St Ives (13 Nov-2 Dec)
Penwith Society of Arts 1949-52
Campbell Early (1994) The Magic Shuttle - The Story of Tom Early, St Ives and after
Buckman (2006) Dictionary of Artists in Britain since 1945
Tate (1985) St Ives 1939-64, Twenty Five Years of Painting, Sculpture and Pottery