HENRY F. FARNY1847-1916
Painter and illustrator Henry Farny was born in Alsace, France in 1847. In 1853, he and his family emigrated to western Pennsylvania, and later, in 1859, to Cincinatti, Ohio. After his father’s death in 1863, Farny worked as a Civil War lithographer, and in 1865, began illustrating for Harper’s Weekly, for whom he continued illustrating for over 30 years. In 1867, Farny went to Europe to study. In Rome, he studied briefly with Thomas Buchanan Read, whose slow teaching method frustrated Farny. In 1868, Farny went to Düsseldorf to study with landscape painter Herman Herzog for two years. In 1870, he returned to the United States for three years, in which time he illustrated circus posters and produced illustrated books for Van Antwerp and Co. In 1873, he went to Munich and studied briefly with Wilhelm Diez. By 1880, Farny had gained much critical acclaim as an illustrator, but nevertheless, he took up painting. In 1881, he made his first trip to the American West and began working on the Indian paintings for which he is primarily known. Between 1881 and 1888, he traveled extensively throughout the West, including Fort Yates on the Missouri River, where he sketched and photographed the Sioux Indians, Helena, Fort Benton, California, and Salt Lake City, where he sketched Geronimo, and the Kiowa, Apache and Comanche tribes. Farny collected a large number of Native American artifacts, which he brought to his studio in Cincinatti for study. Unlike his contemporaries Charles Russell and Frederick Remington, who chose dramatic and often violent scenes, Farny’s Native American subjects are memorialized in the activities of their daily lives – camp scenes, hunting parties, and life on the trail. He often signed his paintings with not only his name, but also an Indian symbol, as seen here, in his “Apache Warrior”. Henry Farny died in Cincinatti, Ohio in 1916.