Painter, illustrator. Farny was attracted to Indians as a boy in Warren, Pennsylvania, his family’s first residence in America after leaving France in 1853. Another move took him to Cincinnati, where Farny remained until 1866, when he found a job in New York as an engraver and cartoonist for Harper’s Monthly. Over the next ten years, he went abroad three times, studying in Rome, Düsseldorf, and Munich. On the last trip, he was accompanied by fellow Cincinnatians Frank Duveneck and John Twachtman. In 1881, inspired by the developing market for Indian paintings, Farny traveled up the Missouri River, making sketches, taking notes and photography, and collecting artifacts. On several more trips West he did the same, until his Cincinnati studio contained enough material for almost any Indian subject he wished to illustrate. Many of his oil paintings were done after 1893, in a style that combined his documentary skills with a nostalgia or vanishing western tribes.
Baltzer, Charles. Henry F. Farny. Cincinnati: Indian Hill Historical Museum Association, 1978.
Carter, Denny. Henry Farny. New York: Watson-Guptill Publications, 1978
Snite Museum of Art. The Realistic Expressions of Henry Farny: A Retrospective. Notre Dame, Ind: Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame, 1981.
Charles Eldredge, Julie Schimmel, and William H. Truettner Art in New Mexico, 1900–1945: Paths to Taos and Santa Fe (Washington, DC: National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 1986)