Henry Chapman Ford was born in Livonia, New York in 1828 and later studied art in Paris and Florence during 1857-60. While serving in the Civil War, he provided sketches for the illustrated press; due to a physical disability, he served only one year. Upon discharge, he moved to Chicago where he became the citys first professional landscape painter. While there, he helped found the Academy of Design and served as its president for several years. Most of his early work was destroyed when the Academy burned in 1871. Due to failing health, he was forced to seek a milder climate. In 1875 he settled in Santa Barbara, California where he spent the rest of his life. He created a portfolio of watercolors, oils and etchings and his depictions of the missions were responsible for the revival of interest in our Spanish heritage and indirectly for the restoration of the Missions. When not out on sketching trips, Ford taught and painted at his studio in Santa Barbara until his death in 1894.