Frequently overshadowed by his highly accomplished brother and father, painter, sculptor, and educator John Ferguson Weir was remarkably gifted as well. His father was the West Point Academy teacher Robert Weir, and his brother J. Alden Weir had made a name for himself as an American Impressionist.
John Weir would train with his father until he was twenty years old, and then he would open his own studio in New York, where he befriended many leading artists of the period. He chose a previously unseen subject matter - industrial scenes - and his paintings were the first of their kind in the history of American art.
He also did remarkably atmospheric landscapes, mostly in an Impressionistic style that did not greatly distinguish him from many other painters of the era, and he painted several notable portraits of important figures including Yale University President Theodore Dwight and Admiral Farragut among others.
Weir was also known for his sculpture and he designed the public fountain on the New Haven green and crafted statues of several key figures at Yale University as well.
His most well known achievement however was as a teacher and administrator of the Yale University School of Fine Arts, a career which lasted from 1869 to 1912.
Weir was a full member of the National Academy of Design, and exhibited widely throughout his career. He participated in the 1893 Columbian Exhibition in Chicago and the World's Fair Exposition in 1904, among many more.
His works are in several important private and public collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.