Henry Farny was born in Alsace, France in 1847. He was the son of a political refugee who to emigrated to Pennsylvania when Henry was six years old. As a child, he enjoyed a friendly relationship with a nearby band of Senecas, which began his life-long fascination with Native Americans.

In 1859 Farny's family moved to Cincinnati where he later took his first job as an apprentice lithographer. By the time he was eighteen, Harper's Weekly has published a two-page view of Cincinnati that Farny had drawn. After briefly working for Harper's in New York, Farny decided he needed more advanced art training. In 1867 he traveled to the Royal Academy in Dusseldorf, Germany where he spent three years studying under Herman Hartzog and Thomas Read, and painting beside John Twachtman and Frank Duveneck.

Farny spent a small amount of time in 1881 at Rookwood Pottery doing Native American portraits on various vases in Standard Glaze. Today they are among the most prized pieces of Rookwood that exist. Farny Continued creating various artworks until he died in Cincinnati in 1916

Example of a Henry Farny Vase in Standard Glaze

A Henry Farny artists mark according to Rookwood records

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