Henry Chapman Ford (1828-1894)
We are especially interested in buying artwork by Henry Chapman Ford.
New York-born artist and founding member of the Chicago Academy of Design where for several years he served as president. He pursued his studies in Paris, France and Florence, Italy during the late 1850s. Ford was a Civil War illustrator and veteran, and as soon as he was discharged from service, he settled in Chicago where he became an accomplished landscape artist, “the first professional landscape painter in that city.” He 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.
In 1875 at age 47, Ford moved to Santa Barbara where he spent the rest of his life. He is primarily known for his etchings of the California missions. It is said his arrival signaled the beginning of the city becoming known as a significant art colony.
Ford was very interested in archaeology, botany and geology, and is known to have made multiple trips to the Channel Islands over several years. He camped on Anacapa Island for 10 days in 1889, and he is known to have painted at least one large oil on canvas of Santa Cruz Island. He was one of the original founders of the Santa Barbara Natural History Society in 1876 with his close friend, Lorenzo Yates, and he also served as president of the society. Together Ford and Yates collected plants, including a number of ferns, on Santa Cruz Island in April, 1887 and again in 1890. Yates named a new shell from Santa Barbara County, Venus fordii, stating: “I take pleasure in dedicating this shell to Mr. H. C. Ford, who has for many years presided at the meetings of our [Santa Barbara] Society of Natural History.”