Eric N Gully was born in Nelson on 28th December 1900. He was the great grandson of the famous pioneer artist, John Gully. Eric was a draftsman and surveyor by occupation however in 1930 due to severe illness he decided to take on the art profession fulltime and set up a studio. There he took in commissions and conducted general classes for adults and children. The initial idea for an art gallery in Gisborne, now the present day museum was Eric Gully’s. He died in 1953.