Joseph Kerby was born in Sheffield, England in 1857. He was a pioneer painter of landscapes, still life, and stage scenery. He died in Provo, Utah in 1911.
In addition to being a self-taught primitivist painter, Kerby was a farmer, poet, and house and sign painter. Although his painting style was rather archaic in the beginning, it developed, with the help of John Hafen and Willis Adams, into a more refined style. Kerby's favorite painting subjects were Mount Timpanogas and Provo Canyon.
Design for Drop-Curtain, Park City Opera House (1890) and Straw Hat with Apples(1902) are featured in the Springville Museum of Art permanent collection. Northeast Face of Timpanogas (1905) is an example of his landscape work.
Biography adapted from Artists of Utah.
Joseph Kerby was born in England in 1857. His parents moved to Salt Lake City when Mr. Kerby was just a boy and later moved to Provo in 1905.
Joseph Kerby was a primitivist who lived and worked in Heber Valley and Provo. He earned a living as a house painter and an interior decorator. He painted drop curtains for the Opera House in Park City, as well as writing poetry, farming, costume design, and carpentry. During his spare time he made oil sketches of outdoor scenes, his favorite sites to paint were Provo Canyon and Mount Timpanogos.
Many of his sketches display a great love of the outdoors with power and sentiment. In his oil on Canvas, 20“ x 30“, Straw Hat with Apples, the fruit is scattered as if they had just tumbled out of the hat naturally.
Biography courtesy Springville Museum of Art.
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