EDWIN Riby’s art shop was a jewel in Keighley’s crown and Edwin was renowned for his skill as an art dealer, restorer and artist.

Edwin died after falling off a bus, soon after his son died fighting on the Western Front on Christmas Eve, 1915.

Silsden art historian Colin Neville focuses on Edwin in the latest article from his Not Just Hockney website.

Mr Neville writes: Riby’s art shop at Lawkholme Crescent, Keighley, was described in 1920 by the Business Guide to Keighley and Bradford as: “Undoubtedly one of finest shops in Keighley.

“There is a fine art gallery, where may be seen a magnificent collection of engravings, oil and watercolours, and other works of art, by many of the leading artists of the day.”

Edwin was born in Scarborough in 1866 but moved to Keighley in 1888.

He had learned his trade as an art restorer as an apprentice with a fine art publisher and dealer in Scarborough, and later with a Manchester art dealer.

He moved to Keighley to work, at first with a Mr T Atley, and in 1893 he set up his own business in the town, moving in 1896 to bigger premises in Lawkholme Crescent, opposite the bus station today.

The shop employed eight people and restored old paintings, as well as selling art mouldings, mounts, and artists’ materials.

The shop also had a gallery on the upper floors for exhibitions, which become a popular meeting place for local artists; the Silsden artist, Joseph West, had for many years a solo annual exhibition there of his landscape paintings.

Edwin was an active member, including chairman at one point, of the Keighley Art Club and was a prolific painter of portraits, landscapes, architecture, country genre scenes, and other subjects to commission.

One of his most successful enterprises was to paint a popular series of pictures of old Keighley, which he sold as prints from his shop.

Edwin was an associate of the British Watercolour Society, and in his latter years toured Canada, painting landscape views that sold well there.

He also taught art, including at both the Glusburn and Oakworth Municipal Institutions, and was sought out for his teaching of crystoleum painting - a process, popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, of applying colour to an albumen print.

Much of Edwin Riby’s artwork is now in private collections and still regularly appears today at auction.

Bradford Museums and Galleries have several examples of his work on display at Cliffe Castle Museum, including a portrait of Professor Thomas Henry Huxley, and an architectural painting of Kildwick Hall.

Edwin and his family suffered personal tragedy when his only son, Claude, was killed on Christmas Eve, 1915, on the Western Front during the First World War, and Edwin himself died, aged 61, from head injuries when he fell down the steps from the upper deck of a bus whilst alighting.

* Visit notjusthockney.info/riby-edwin to read more about Edwin Riby at Colin Neville’s website devoted to local artists and art figures.

Mr Neville also curates the bi-monthly Not Just Hockney presentations on the Big Screen centenary Square, Bradford.

Each time he gathers half a dozen artists currently working the district and showcases their pictures every day at

The current presentation, running until the end of June, features stunning scenes of the Yorkshire countryside.

He said: “The artists are all drawn to the special beauty of Yorkshire Moors and Dales, and all capture its moods in their own unique ways – it’s fascinating to see how the same or similar landscape scene can be interpreted artistically in such different ways.

“There is a wide range of art media used by the featured artists too in their work, including watercolour, acrylic and oils, inks, digital imaging and graphite.

“The six artists have all worked across the seasons and in all weathers.”