Lyman Byxbe


Lyman Byxbe

In Estes Park

1886 - 1980

The 3rd edition of the Byxbe catalog is here with 10 updated, and 29 new images.  We truly enjoy volunteering our time to increase the understanding and appreciation of Lyman Byxbe, for the benefit of the Estes Park Museum Friends & Foundation.






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Photos:  Byxbe at the press &, the Byxbe Art Gallery in Estes Park courtesy Bob Crump; the Byxbe home and studio in Estes Park today - OldEstes Photos

I know my prices should be a little higher, but I have found out in the past my work is sold to the average class of people;  therefore I have set my prices according to their pocket-books."
—Lyman Byxbe

After they were downtown and I worked for them, a couple of times a day when Mom was otherwise occupied Pop would slip me a dollar with a wink and I would sneak out the back door, down the alley to Tighe's drugstore and bring back a couple of quarters of beer.  This was of course, a no-no with Byx's diabetes so they were sequestered under the press to be visited at propitious moments.
—Coyt Hackett (a Byxbe helper)

Listed Davenports, Dawdy's, Mallett's, Who's Who

Byxbe worked primarily in aquatint, drypoint and etching (and various combinations of these techniques).  He also executed works in mezzotint, conté crayon, oil, pencil, and watercolor, though these are relatively rare.  His studio also produced hand-colored photographs.  Subject matter was primarily scenes in and around the Estes Park area, although his earlier works include a few portraits, and subjects from Omaha and other locations in the Midwest (these are quite rare, but worth the hunt).

Byxbe learned printmaking from Mark Levings, an Omaha architect.  We have acquired a single Levings etching The Range which was done in 1925 just before he began teaching Byxbe.  It is of the Estes Park area as well:

Byxbe first came to Estes Park as a summer visitor (as have so many), and by 1930 had a booming business, which included etchings of resident's cabins for Christmas cards.  By the mid-thirties he was garnering national attention.  He was elected to the Chicago Society of Etchers.  He had a one man show of sixty-some items at the Smithsonian in 1937-38, and his reputation was made.  Byxbe, moved to Estes Park for good shortly thereafter.  He had a shop on Elkhorn Avenue in downtown Estes Park for many years.  The majority of his available work is small etchings he produced for the tourist trade, which he sold for very little saying "I have set my prices according to their pocket-books."  These are quite valuable today, especially the larger examples.  He did oil paintings and watercolors as well, but these are much more difficult to find.

Byxbe In Estes ParkArticle from The Prints of Lyman Byxbe - Robert L. Crump

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I have acquired Byxbe's Christmas card Fight on Timberline to R.P. Toleman, Curator, Division of Graphic Arts at the Smithsonian Institution.
The card is undated, but Byxbe's works hung from November 29, 1937 through January 2, 1938 following Toleman's invitation letter to Byxbe July 22, 1937.

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Revised: 10/1/2017