John Fery was born in Austria in 1865. An itinerant painter, he completed many large oil paintings in the Rocky Mountain style. He died in Everett, Washington in 1934.
Although he may have studied in Düsseldorf, Fery was primarily self-taught. He was greatly influenced by the world of academic art, but he did not participate in it. In about 1900 Fery worked in Utah where he painted many large oils of its natural wonders. He also lived in Minnesota, Arizona, Washington, Oregon, and California. He was commissioned by the Burlington Northern Railroad to paint scenes of the beauty of the west.
His work was exhibited at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. Great White Throne, Zion Canyon Utah (1910) is part of the permanent collection of the Springville Museum of Art. American Fork Canyon (c. 1870s) and The Three Patriarchs, Zion Canyon(1910s) are other important works. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Museum of Church History owns nine of his paintings.
Biography adapted from Artists of Utah.
Having studied in Europe early on, Hungarian painter John Fery (1859-1934) moved to this country in 1886. A wanderer, he lived in Minnesota, Arizona, Utah, Oregon, California, and Washington before his death and, like Maynard Dixon after him, found the natural grandeur of Utah most appealing. He did large turn-of-the-century canvases that concentrated on the natural wonders of the region before going on to finally establish his last home in Everett, Washington. Fery provided a prototypic body of work for later Zion Canyon views by the much more talented Dixon. Though many of his works survive, the smaller ones seem more abundant than Fery's larger canvases. His work was largely decorative, and his Utah painting is centered on Zion and the other national parks in the south. His images seem more pleasing and accessible when absent of moose, elk, and other herbivores. Often sponsored in his travelers by the Burlington& Northern Railway, Fery made Salt Lake City his home base for a number of years where, in the 1920s, the Macon Jewelry Company also gave him patronage and support.
Biography courtesy Artists of Utah.
Dunbier, Lonnie P. ed. The Artists Bluebook. Scottsdale, AZ: Ask ART.com, 2001.
Davenport, Ray. Davenport's Art Reference. Ventura, CA: Davenport's Art Reference, 2001.
Dawdy, Doris. Artists of the American West: A Biographical Dictionary. 3 Vols. Chicago: Sage Books, 1974-1985.
Falk, Peter Hastings. Dictionary of Signatures & Monogram. Madison, CT: Land O'Lakes, 1988.
Falk, Peter Hastings. Who Was Who in American Art 1564-1975. 3 Vols. Madison, CT: Sound View Press, 1999.
Falk, Peter Hastings. Who Was Who in American Art Artists Active 1898-1947. Madison, CT: Sound View Press, 1985.
Gerdts, William. Art Across America. Vol. 2. New York, NY: Abbeville Press, 1990.
Gerdts, William. Art Across America. Vol. 3. New York, NY: Abbeville Press, 1990.
Haseltine, James L. 100 Years of Utah Painting Selected Works from the 1840s to the 1940s. Salt Lake Art Center: Salt Lake City, 1965.
Hedgpeth, Don. Mountain Majesty: The Art of John Fery. Great Falls, MT: William Healey and John B. Fery, 1997.
Hughes, Edan Milton. Artists in California, 1786-1940. San Francisco, CA: Hughes Pub. Co., 1989.
Olpin, Robert S. Dictionary of Utah Art. Salt Lake City, UT: Salt Lake Art Center, l980.
Olpin, Robert S, William C. Seifrit, and Vern G. Swanson. Artists of Utah. Salt Lake City, UT: Gibbs Smith, l999.
Southwest Art. Red Book Price Guide to Western Art. Houston, TX: Enthusiast Media, l997.
Swanson, Vern G., Robert S. Olpin, Donna Poulton, and Janie L Rogers. 150 Year Survey Utah Art & Artists. Salt Lake City, UT. Gibbs Smith, 2002.
Swanson, Vern G, Robert S. Olpin, and William C. Seifrit. Utah Art. Layton, UT. Gibbs Smith Publishing Co., 1991.
Swanson, Vern G., Robert S. Olpin, and William C. Seifrit. Utah Painting and Sculpture. Layton, UT: Gibbs Smith Publisher, 1997.
Samuels, Peggy and Harold Samuels. Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1976.
Schwarz, Robert D. A Century of American Landscapes 1812-1912. Philadelphia, PA: Schwarz and Sons, 1986.
Zellman, Michael David. 300 Years of American Art. Secaucus, NJ: Wellfleet Press, 1987.
Sweeney, J Gray. Great Lakes Machine Painting of the Nineteenth Century. Muskegon, MI: The Museum, 1983.
Adams, Cristina. "Best of the West." Southwest Art, January 1998.
Art of the West. "What's New." Art of the West, January 1998.
Brown, Joan. "From Timberline to Tide Pool." Wildlife Art, May 2001.
Southwest Art. "Coast to Coast." Southwest Art, July 2002.