Robert F. Arbegast grew up in Brigantine, New Jersey. In his youth he was
a champion swimmer and diver who won several medals and trophies, starting at the age of 17 through 21, at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. Later, Rutgers would award Mr. Arbegast the Bachelor of Science Degree in Science Education. He would later move on to Trenton State College to do graduate study in organic chemistry and earn an advanced Science Degree. From 1960 to 1973 he taught chemistry at Princeton High School and designed a curriculum for a new approach to teaching methods while studying art at Community College also in New Jersey.
In 1974, Mr. Arbegast left Princeton and came to San Francisco to be part of burgeoning movement of a free-thinking generation in quest of new ideas which left him with an indelible transcending experience into deeper insights and creative energies, opening him up to the world of art.
Arbegast first became aware of Mulleian's paintings through a friend who brought him to the exhibit at the Frank Gallery where, by chance, he was introduced to the artist in person in 1974. Later, after reading published articles in various periodicals relating to the artist, he would eventually meet Mulleian once again in 1977 at a private party in San Francisco. This would be the beginning of a long and deepening friendship that has grown through the years. Mr. Arbegast, in his devotion to the artist and his work, became instrumental in promoting Mulleians art by financing reproduction lithograph prints and post cards. Mr. Arbegast would also write several magazine and newspaper articles on the artist which were published during the late 1970's and well into the 1980's.
Robert Arbegast
Photo taken 2004
From 1984 to 1991 Mr. Arbegast was a lead trainer in IBM mainframe programming and operations trainees at The Computer Learning Center in San Francisco, and lead instructor at AT&T Professional Development Center, also in San Francisco. By 1996 he had become a proactive consultant and end-user software trainer. With this knowledge in computer programming Arbegast would eventually design and build this website,, in dedication of Mulleian's paintings, that they could be seen and shared throughout the world. The site opened to the internet in 2000.
In February of 2004, as Gavin Newsom opened the door to allow same sex couples to marry, Arbegast and Mulleian obtained their Marriage License and exchanged wedding vows at San Francisco’s City Hall. They were among the first couples to be married in San Francisco. And, as it happened, they were among the first in the United States.
Fourteen months later, on April 23, 2005, after a thirty-year relationship, Robert died of liver cancer. He was 67.
Robert F. Arbegast
1937 - 2005