John Fery1859 - 1934
Born: March 25, 1859, Strasswalchen, Austria
Died: September 10, 1934, Everett, Washington
In 1886, John Fery immigrated to the United States and soon after made his first trips west. Briefly returning to Europe in 1890, he organized a hunting party to traverse the western regions of the U.S. in 1893 and 1895. Fery resided at Jackson Lake, Wyoming, in the late 1890s and struck by the beauty of the lake, painted the area at least thirty-five times. He is assumed to be self-taught as the records are unclear about his course of study. In 1903, he moved to Milwaukee and established his studio in a building with eleven other German artists, including George Peter, Robert Schade, and Franz Biberstein. In 1911, Fery moved to Minnesota, where the Great Northern Railroad commissioned him to create large paintings of the scenery en route to Glacier National Park, Montana. His paintings served as advertisements for travel through the northern regions and the Glacier National Park where the Great Northern operated the only hotel. In 1919, Fery moved to Salt Lake City and painted many landscapes, concentrating on Zion's Canyon. He eventually settled on Orcas Island, near Bellingham, Washington. In 1929, a fire burned down his cabin and all his possessions, including many of his paintings and sketches. After the death of his wife in 1930, he moved to Everett, Washington, where he died four years later.
For more than four decades, Fery devoted his life and talent to grand mountain vistas, although he is particularly known for his large paintings of Glacier National Park. His biggest patron, The Great Northern Railroad, purchased a total 362 paintings and at least 150 circulate in private collections. Roughly half of these paintings depict of the Rocky Mountains, while more than a dozen depict scenes of the Tetons and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Fery's mountainous landscapes often contained elk, horses, bears, and other wildlife, but rarely included human elements.
Fery's work is recognized in many private collections and museums, including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Museum on Church History and Art in Salt Lake City and the National Museum of Wildlife Art.