Henry Ford (illustrator)

Henry Ford (Illustrator)

Henry Ford (illustrator)

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Henry Chapman Ford (1828–1894) was an American illustrator born in Livonia, New York. He studied art in Paris and Florence late in the 1850s. During the Civil War he was a soldier assigned to prepare illustrations of interest to the military. After the War he moved to Chicago, Illinois where, in 1871, his studio was destroyed in the "Great Fire."

In 1875 he settled in Santa Barbara, California where he would live out his days. Ford travelled by horse and buggy to the each of the twenty-one Spanish missions in California, where he created a historically-important portfolio of watercolors, oils, and etchings. His depictions of the missions were (in part) responsible for the revival of interest in the state's Spanish heritage, and indirectly for the restoration of the missions themselves. In 1883 Ford published his Etchings of the Franciscan Missions of California, and exhibited his works at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. The hallmarks of Ford’s images are exquisite brushwork and tonal mastery in all mediums, which make his works highly prized.

Ford died in 1894 in Santa Barbara.


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