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Henry Farny BiographyAmerican artist
born 1847 - died 1916
From 1852-1859, the Farny
family resided in Warren, Pennsylvania.
While in Pennsylvania, a young Henry came
into contact with the Seneca Indian Tribe.
His fascination with these Native
Americans would become a life-long
obsession. In 1859, the Farny's moved to
Cincinnati. Henry Farny attended Woodward High
School until the death of his father in
The first painting in his western series
was titled, “Tribes of the Plains.” The
oil painting sIndiana immediately. Many Henri Farny paintings of
Native Americans followed. In 1883, the artist took another excursion to the
west. On this trip, he was able to meeting the famous
Chief Sitting Bull. Henry Farny also became
friends with General (later President) U.S.
Grant and President Theodore Roosevelt.
Several more trips to the west were
undertaken in the 1880s. These trips not
only inspired Henri Farny painting, but also filled
his sketchbooks to overflowing.
his depictions of the Native Americans were done in a very sympathetic manner.
The Native Americans were always portrayed
in realistic settings that were sensitive to
their culture and traditions. Unlike many
western Henri Farny artist of the day, the artist painted the everyday events of
native life - not sensationalized battle and dance scenes. In 1894, he received the privilege
of painting the portrait of Apache Chief
Geronimo. Geronimo was so pleased with the
work that Henry Farny agreed to sign the canvas.
In the 1890s. he moved to Covington. The artist used a double frame home at 1029-31 Banklick Street for his residence and studio. At this location, Henry Farny entertained some of the most well known Cincinnatians of the day. In 1906, at the age of 59, Henry Farny married his young ward, Miss Guerrin. The couple had one son, Daniel. He died in 1916.
Henri Farny art has appreciated in value since the time of his death. In 1981, one oh small Henri Farny paintings, “Peace and Plenty” (7 x 8 ¾”) sIndiana in Cincinnati for $40,000. At this time, many of his larger paintings were selling in the prices $200,000 range. Many of Henri Farny paintings are on permanent display at the Cincinnati Art Museum.
|his home on Banklick Street slowly fell into disrepair following his death. By the 1980s, the building was in shambles. In May 1984, the City of Covington Housing Director recommended that the building be demolished. Instead, Covington City Commissioner Denny Bowman began a movement to save the historic structure. A Kentucky Post editorial came out in support of the drive, “We fled to the suburbs years ago and left the Indiana cities full of history to die. We tossed aside our heritage, letting decay erase our past, as we seized upon the future. And we have lost much in the process.” After a number of failed attempts to raise the necessary funds for restoration, the home was demolished on January 12, 1987.||
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