Held at: James A. Michener Art Museum Archives [Contact Us]138 South Pine Street, Doylestown, PA, 18901
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the James A. Michener Art Museum Archives. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Edward J. Byrne (1898-1968) was a prominent stained-glass window designer in Bucks County, Pennsylvania and nearby areas. After partnering with George Sotter, he opened the Edward J. Byrne Studio in 1933 in Carversville, PA. The studio relocated to Doylestown in the 1960s and was taken over by Byrne's son, Edward J. Byrne, Jr.
Edward Joseph Holslag Byrne (1898-1968) was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His father, Patrick Joseph Byrne was instrumental in starting an art school at Carnegie Tech (now part of Carnegie Mellon University). Byrne studied there with stained glass designer and painter George Sotter. Along with Sotter, Byrne was involved in the creation of the Sacred Heart Parish windows in Shadyside, Pittsburgh, PA. Around 1923, Byrne and Sotter moved to Bucks County and, as partners, set up the Sotter Studio in Holicong, PA. In 1933, Byrne and Sotter ended their partnership; Sotter continued with his landscape painting while Byrne started Edward J. Byrne Studio in nearby Carversville, PA. The Byrne Studio specialized in designing stained glass for churches and church-related buildings. Byrne also created liturgical themed ceramic sculpture murals and sanctuary furnishings such as altars, pulpits, chairs, and lights.
Early stained glass commissions included churches in Pittsburgh, PA; Wheeling, WV; Washington, DC; Connecticut; and numerous towns along the New Jersey shore. Locally, Byrne designed the early stained glass windows for Doylestown Presbyterian, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and Salem Church, all in Doylestown, PA. He also designed the stained glass in Saint Mary Cathedral in Trenton, NJ and the windows portraying the life of Bishop Neumann in St. Peter the Apostle Church in Philadelphia.
In addition to partnering with Sotter, Byrne worked on projects with Charles Ward, Henry Mercer, Forrest Crooks, and Val D'Ogeries.
The stained glass and liturgical work of the Byrne Studio was continued by Byrne's son, Edward Byrne, Jr. (born 1944), moving the studio to Doylestown in the late 1960s. Employees who worked closely with the Byrne Studio include: Columcille Sharkey (artist/cartoonist, 1922-2001); Bolton Morris (artist/cartoonist, 1920-2004); Robert McGovern (designer/wood carver, 1933-2011); Daniel Sparks (glass painter); George Keenan (craftsman); Cathy Perea (tapestry fabricator); and Kathy Winter (designer).
Edward J. Byrne Studio drawings, photographs, and pamphlets, circa 1920s-2000s, consist of presentation drawings and full size cartoons of stained glass window designs for area churches, as well as photographs and negatives of the windows in the churches and pamphlets, computer printouts, and photocopies of newspaper articles showcasing the work of Edward J. Byrne Studios. There are also posters featuring the churches in the collection. Many materials are undated and unidentified.
A more detailed finding aid, biographical note, or inventory for this collection may be available on-site.
Gift of Rosanne and Edward Byrne Jr., 2015
Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2014-2016 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.
In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact James A. Michener Art Museum Archives directly for more information.
- James A. Michener Art Museum Archives
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Sarah Leu and Anastasia Matijkiw through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories using information provided by the James A. Michener Art Museum Archives
- This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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Contact James A. Michener Art Museum Archives for information about accessing this collection.