March 19, 2014

Fanny Cory, Montana Illustrator

by Maegen Cook, Digital Collections Assistant

Illustration (above) and poem (below)
from Little me: in picture and verse,
by Fanny Y. Cory (New York : E.P.
Dutton), c1936.

A conscience is a horrid thing!
Just when you're having fun
It makes you look around and see
The mischief you have done-

Recently, the Society acquired nine books that were beautifully illustrated by Fanny Young Cory. A longtime Montanan, Cory was a book, magazine, and newspaper illustrator best known for The Fairy Alphabet; Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll; and two works by L. Frank Baum: The Magic Key and The Enchanted Island of Yew. Her illustrations appeared in magazines like Life, Saturday Evening Post, and Century.

Fanny Cory in her youth
Fanny Cory in her youth,
from "Fanny Cory Cooney:
Mother and Artist," by Bob
Cooney and Sayre Cooney
Montana The
Magazine of Western History
(Summer 1980) p 9.
Cory was born in 1877 in Waukegan, Illinois, and moved to Helena, Montana, with her family as a ten-year-old. In 1896, she attended the Metropolitan School of Art in New York City. In 1902, she returned to Montana, where she married Fred Cooney. They lived for almost fifty years on Canyon Ferry Lake, raising three children and caring for their ranch. She continued her art until her death in 1972 at age 94.

The Research Center holds 14 works containing her writings or illustrations, and the Museum has 180 pieces of original Cory art.

Illustration in Fairy Tales, (Chicago, Illinois: N.K. Fairbank Company), [1903],
a promotion for Fairbank's 
Fairy Soap