Henry C. Ford was best known for his paintings of the entire chain of twenty-one California missions. He was born in Livonia, New York in 1828, but he pursued his studies in Paris and Florence during the late 1850's.
He was a Civil War illustrator and veteran, and as soon as he was discharged from service, he settled in Chicago, Illinois. In Chicago, Ford became an accomplished landscapist, "the first professional landscape painter in that city" (Taft 294) and was one of the founders of the Chicago Academy of Design and served as President in 1873. The studio that Ford kept in Chicago burned down in 1871.
During this period, he made several trips to Colorado, 1866 and 1869. In 1875,
due to his desire to have a warmer climate, Ford moved to a milder climate, settling in Santa Barbara, California. In the summers of 1880 and 1881, he traveled by horse and buggy to each mission site south of Santa Barbara. On the mission grounds, Ford made pencil drawings and painted sketches.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Robert Taft, "Artists and Illustrators of the Old West"Read More