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 Fred Geary  (1894 - 1955)

About: Fred Geary


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Lived/Active: Missouri      Known for: illustration, woodcut

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Ad Code: 3
Fred Geary Mexican Santos
Mexican Santos
color woodcut on paper 11 5/16"x 8 5/8"

Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Clarence, Missouri, Fred Geary did drawings used in railway promotional brochures for Fred Harvey & Company, whose personnel ran the restaurants for the Santa Fe Railroad hotels and train-car service.  In addition to these commissions, he illustrated for a magazine titled Navajo Medicine Man, and also did mural painting at the El Navajo Hotel in Gallup, New Mexico; and pictographs at Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.  Fifty of his wood engravings* are in the Library of Congress.

Geary likely lived in Carrollton, Missouri, and occupied a studio in Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri.  He did illustrations, wood engraving and mural designs, and traveled extensively from the time he was in his mid 30s in New Mexico and Arizona. Locations of his work in New Mexico are El Navajo Hotel in Gallup, San Felipe Church in Albuquerque, Mission Laguna, and Ranchos de Taos.  In Arizona he did pictographs* at Grand Canyon National Park for the Desert View Watchtower.

He had studied in Kansas City at William Jewell College.  Memberships included the Prairie Print Makers*, Southern Print Makers, Southern States Art League*, and The Woodcut Society of Kansas City. 

He exhibited extensively, especially woodcuts.  Venues included the Rocky Mountain Print Club, Philbrook Art Club, City Art Museum of St. Louis, Chicago International Print Club, the Pennsylvania Academy*, Los Angeles Museum of Art, National Academy of Design*, San Francisco Museum of Art, and The Woodcut Society of Kansas City where Geary was one of forty-one woodcut artists selected for the first exhibit in 1932. 

Geary did not usually date his woodcuts, but it is assumed that Old House In Waverly and Old Maple Tree were completed in 1932, because they were his entries in the 1932 Kansas City Woodcut Society exhibit, where the requirement was that the work be done that year.  These woodcuts are in the Fred Geary Print Collection in the Carrollton Public Library in Carrollton, Missouri.  Other Fred Geary works in that Library Collection are: (1) 1925 Season Greetings offset print, 5 by 4 inches. The design, not a woodcut, was commercially printed by the offset process.  Blue and yellow areas were hand-colored after the design was printed mechanically.  (2) Bullfight, Juarez is an image measuring 8 by 11 1/2 inches.  It is printed on yellow-tinted paper.  Mexican Santos, color woodcut on paper, measures 11 5/16"x 8 5/8" and is in the collection of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, FA 1957.7.7.

Sources include:
Peter Hastings Falk, Editor, Who Was Who in American Art
Doris Dawdy, Artists of the American West, Vol. III
Karl Markhausen, Images and information on Fred Geary woodcuts

* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see Glossary

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

Fred Geary is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
Taos Pre 1940

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