Harold Bugbee

Harold Dow Bugbee is best known for his portrayals of ranch life, a subject reflected in his paintings as well as his book and magazine illustrations. Bugbee was born in Lexington, Massachusetts. In 1912 he went West to live on a ranch near Clarendon, Texas. He attended public school in Clarendon and in 1917 attended Clarendon College. The following year he attended Texas A&M College, and then graduated from the Charles Cumming School of Art, Des Moines, Iowa, in 1921. Following graduation, Bugbee studied in New York City and then returned to Clarendon in 1922. Bugbee traveled regularly to Taos, New Mexico, to paint with members of the Taos art colony. Drawing from his experiences living on a ranch, he did illustrations for books and magazines. He illustrated J. Evetts Haley’s Charles Goodnight, Cowman and Plainsman (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1936). Bugbee’s illustrations were found on the covers of Country Gentleman, Quarter Horse Journal, Progressive Farmer, The Cattleman, Field and Stream, and Panhandle-Plains Historical Review. In 1951 Bugbee became part-time curator of the Panhandle- Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas. He died in Clarendon, survived by his second wife, Olive Vandruff. Bugbee’s studio has been recreated and is on permanent exhibit at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum.

John and Deborah Powers, Texas Painter, Sculptors, and Graphic Artists: A Biographical Dictionary of Artist in Texas Before 1942 (Austin, TX: Woodmont Books,
May 2000).