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 Henry Ary  (1807 - 1859)

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Lived/Active: New York/Rhode Island      Known for: landscape and portrait painting

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Ad Code: 3
Henry Ary
from Auction House Records.
View of Mt. Merino From Hudson, New York
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The resident artist of Hudson, New York in the mid-19th century and a key artist in the Hudson River School of painting, Henry Ary had moved to Hudson in the 1840s from his home town of Providence, Rhode Island.

He is most noted for his town views of Olana and for nearby Mount Merino.  Sanford Gifford was often his sketching partner, and Ary is credited with having influence on the quality of the early painting of Gifford, who became much more famous than Ary. Another artist who learned much from Ary was John Bunyan Bristol, who also lived and painted in the Olana area.

In 1831, Ary was painting portraits in Albany, and three years later moved to the Catskills where Thomas Cole encouraged him to paint landscapes.  By 1845, he was living in Hudson, New York and began exhibiting his landscapes at the National Academy of Design. 

He became one of the first Hudson River painters to note the growing presence of commerce and industry in the landscape, and he viewed this aspect as a harmonious part of nature.

In 1854, Ary became instructor in painting and drawing at the newly established Hudson Female Academy.

Sources include:
Art Across America Vol. 1 by William Gerdts
Shannon's auction catalogue, 10/24/2002
Peter Falk, Who Was Who in American Art

Biography from Fred R. Kline Gallery, Inc.:
Henry Ary, a key figure in the development of Hudson River landscape painting, began his artistic career as a portraitist.  Conflicting records state that Ary was either born in Rhode Island in 1802 or in Hudson, NY in 1807.  In 1831-32, he was painting portraits in Albany and then moved to Catskill, NY where, at the encouragement of his Catskill neighbor Thomas Cole, Ary turned to developing his notable skills into landscape painting.

In 1844 he moved to Hudson, NY, in all likelihood returning to his birthplace, and from then devoted himself to mainly painting Hudson River landscapes.  Ary was one of the first Hudson River painters to consistently record the growing presence of American commerce and industry in the landscape.  He specialized in local views of the Hudson River environs and also painted in the Catskills where he often sketched with his young friend Sanford R. Gifford in the early 1850s.  Ary's connections with the Gifford family extended to Frederick Gifford, Sanford's older brother who was one of Ary's patrons, and to Sanford’s father, Elihu Gifford—who was a trustee of the Hudson Female Academy where Ary taught painting and drawing and was noted not only for his artistic skills but for his engaging disposition and personal charm.

Elihu Gifford, one of Hudson's early industrialists, plausibly sparked Ary’s interest in recording the commercial development of the regional landscape. Ary exhibited landscapes at the National Academy in New York in 1845, 1853, 1858 and at the American Art-Union in New York from 1846 to 1853.

He died in all likelihood in his early 50s on January 28, 1859.

Groce & Wallace, The New York Historical Society’s Dictionary of Artists in America; Ary file: Kline Art Reseach Associates, Santa Fe, NM
Shannon’s Fine Art Auctioneers, Milford, CT
Fred R. Kline Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at

Henry Ary is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
Hudson River School Painters

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