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$25,000 John Fery Painting Discovered in Pile of Donated Items


John Fery Painting

This is an auction you don’t want to miss. We always say this about every St. Vincent de Paul Specialty Auction, but this time we mean it. We’re especially excited about this current auction because: 1) A classic ‘66 Volkswagen bug will be won by the highest bidder regardless of price, and 2) A John Fery painting valued at around $25,000 is also up for grabs.

Who is John Fery?

If you’ve been around for awhile and follow historic Western American artists, then you probably already know about Fery, but we didn’t know anything about him until this painting showed up in a pile of donated items.

John Fery immigrated to the U.S. from Austria in the late 1880’s. He started out organizing hunting parties for Europeans visiting the U.S. and then began painting the area where he lived in Jackson Lake, Wyoming. Fery also lived in Milwaukee and Minnesota where he was commissioned by the Great Northern Railroad to create large paintings in order to help promote travel throughout the Northern regions and Glacier National Park. His paintings are now sold to art collectors all around the world.

One man’s trash…

We assume that the person who donated this particular painting probably had no idea just how valuable it is or was being very generous. The title of the piece is unknown, but it is numbered 339 and has the initials GN.R.R. on the back. It’s believed to have been painted around 1917-1918.

So many items are donated every day that sometimes the valuable items slip between the cracks, however, the mid-century style wood frame caught the eye of one of the St. Vincent de Paul employees who decided to investigate the origin of the painting. Lo and behold, they discovered just how much it is actually worth.

We’re in the news!

A press release was sent out last week to all the San Diego local news stations, which gave us excellent exposure and publicity. Yes, we finally had our 15 seconds of fame! Our very own Jason Hanks was interviewed by NBC San Diego about the painting. Fox 5 San Diego also did a write-up and feature for the evening news. Other news media throughout California have picked up the story as well.

As of the writing of this article, the painting has 9 bids with the highest bid at $1,600. A written appraisal will be given to the winning bidder.

Are you an art collector and want to bid on this John Fery painting? Proceeds go to support the St. Vincent de Paul Villages’ efforts to help the homeless in San Diego. Click here!