Oscar Bailey (1925-2010) received a BA in art from Wilmington College in Ohio in 1951. He worked for a while with a commercial printer in Delaware, Ohio where he had access to a copy camera and developed an interest in photography. Soon he bought his own camera and taught himself how to use it. In 1958, He enrolled at Ohio University and received an MFA in photography.
From 1958 until 1969, Bailey was professor of photography at State University College in Buffalo, New York. In 1969, he developed the photography program for the University of South Florida where he taught until retiring in 1985 to Yancey County in Western North Carolina.
Bailey has worked in different styles of photography using a variety of cameras and styles. His most inventive work was done with a panoramic camera made in 1915 [The cameras were made between 1904 and 1943]. Originally made to photograph large groups of people and vast landscapes, the Cirkut camera, driven by a complex, windup mechanism, rotates one direction while the film travels the other way at the same speed, producing a picture about five feet long that can cover over 360 degrees.
Bailey has taught photography at Penland School of Crafts. He was selected by Minor White for inclusion in two issues of “Aperture” in 1959 and 1961, and was a founding member of the Society for Photographic Education (SPE) in 1962. His photographs have been exhibited at Indiana University, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Michigan, Ohio Wesleyan University, International Museum of Photography/George Eastman House, Rochester, New York, University of Oregon, Eugene, University of South Florida, Tampa, University of Colorado, Boulder, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, the Lynch Gallery, St. Petersburg, Florida and Penland Gallery, Penland, NC.