Lauren Ford's Art of Christmas

A profile of Lauren Ford

Lauren Ford was born in New York City in 1891. Her mother was Julia Ellsworth Ford, "the author of many books and plays for children." Her father was Simeon Ford, owner of the Grand Union Hotel, a man of famous wit, and a popular public speaker. According to Julia Ford, Lauren began to draw at age four. Lauren studied art with George Bridgman and Frank V. du Mond. In 1973, Lauren Ford passed away at the age of eighty-two. During her life, Ford painted many works of a religious nature.

The artwork of Lauren Ford has been presented in such distinguished galleries as the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and can be found "among the treasures of discriminating private collectors." Life magazine featured Lauren Ford's work in several of its issues. Lauren Ford's cards at Christmas time have been received and treasured by many Americans. Critics have praised Ford's work for being "tender," "fanciful," and "picturesque."

During her life, Ford lived a "simple" and "independent" life on her working farm near Bethlehem, Connecticut, surrounded by family and friends. She received a "continual procession of interesting guests from all over the world." The gracious Connecticut countryside and her farm animals appear in much of her work. The Nativity scene is frequently pictured in her own barn. The Nativity scene is the subject of Ford's exquisite Christmas cards, which are treasured throughout the year by their delighted recipients.

During her life, Ford published three books: Our Lady's Book, The Ageless Story, and Lauren Ford's Christmas Book. In each of these books, Ford combined her artwork with her own lyric prose to interpret the Marian aspects of the Bible and the Christian tradition.

This profile is based on a biographical summary provided in Lauren Ford's Christmas Book.

Lauren Ford illustration of Mary holding Jesus with Joseph looking on

Lauren Ford's winter scene of the King presenting a gift to Jesus with Mary and Joseph looking on from a rustic porch

Lauren Ford illustration of the Holy Family in the manger surrounded by birds, angels and various animals

Lauren Ford illustration of Mary kneeling a simple manger setting with Baby Jesus swaddled in her cloak

Lauren Ford illustrates the inside of the barn with animals, stalls and straw surround the Holy Family with Jesus in the manger and a shepherd boy looking on

Wintery scene with Mary sitting and holding Baby Jesus while Joseph waters a cow in the distance near a large barn. Visitors are coming from behind down a long lane.

Closeup of Mary holding Jesus close to her cheekMary in hooded cloak holding Jesus up so a crowd of sheep can see him

Mary napping as she leans on a stack of straw while Baby Jesus sleeps on her lap

Inside of the stable, children gather around Mary and Baby Jesus while Joseph looks out the door

Mary and Joseph watch Jesus sleep with a lantern shining

An etching in maroon tones of the Holy Family in the stable

The Holy Family in a spacious stable looking through a large opening out into the village while a group of visitors come lead by the Little Drummer Boy.

A wintery scene of villagers coming to a red barn to visit the Baby Jesus

View of the stable with doors open looking in on the Holy Family

A childlike version of Mary with Jesus standing on her lap as a lamb, donkey and cow nuzzle them. Bright orange and yellow colors.

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