Michener Art Museum

Arthur E. Bye


Dr. Arthur Edwin Bye, pastel drawing by Ranulph Bye, gift of Ranulph Bye, James A. Michener Art Museum library
NONFICTION WRITER, PAINTER
BORN: December 18, 1885, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
DIED: November 4, 1969, Doylestown, Pennsylvania


Arthur Edwin Bye belonged to a Quaker family with deep roots in Bucks County. Like his son, painter Ranulph Bye, Dr. Bye painted Bucks County scenery, using luminous, expressionistic color to depict barns and fields. Dr. Bye was a curator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and a professor of Art at Lafayette College, Vassar College, and the University of North Carolina. He founded his own art center for the restoration of paintings on Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia and was an art dealer for most of his life. Dr. Bye authored five books on art history and two on Bye family history (adding his own illustrations) as well as many articles. His 1921 book, Pots and Pans: Studies in Still Life Painting, was critically acclaimed as one of the first comprehensive treatments of a neglected topic in art history. His book, Bucks County Tales, is a collection of true stories and character sketches about the Native Americans, early settlers, and fugitive slaves who peopled local history. A Bucks County resident for 39 years, Dr. Bye was active in the Society of Friends and Bucks County and Pennsylvania Historical Societies.