326 West Harmont Drive, Phoenix, AZ 85021-5643 | 877-906-1633
Artwork by Henry Farny
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About the Artist
Henry Francois Farny was born in Alsace Lorraine, France in 1847. His family fled France as political refugees, settling in the pine forests of western Pennsylvania. His family lived near a Seneca camp, leading to a life-long fascination with Native American culture. The family later moved to Cincinnati, where he apprenticed as a lithographer. He traveled to Europe between 1867-1870 to further his art studies in Dusseldorf, Vienna and Rome. Returning to Cincinnati, he worked as an illustrator, including circus posters and for "McGuffey Readers".
Farny made numerous trips to the West throughout his lifetime, beginning in 1878 with a thousand-mile canoe trip down the Missouri River. In 1881 he began his Indian genre paintings, favoring a literal rendering of tribal life over sensationalism. From each trip he would return to his studio with a wealth of sketches from which he would work.
In 1883, he journeyed to Montana to cover ceremonies marking the completion of the Northern Pacific transcontinental railroad. In 1894, Farny went into Oklahoma territory where he stayed at Fort Sill, recording the life of the remnant Apache being held there.
Farny’s paintings have a high degree of anthropological importance and portray of a way life that has been permanently and irreparably altered. This is due to the fact that he was sympathetic in his attitude and approach to his subjects, but not overtly romantic.