Born in San Francisco, CA, Theodore Wores (1859-1939) began his art training at age 12 in the studio of Joseph Harrington who taught him color, composition, drawing, and perspective. When the local School of Design opened in 1874 he was one of the first pupils to enroll. After one year at that school under Virgil Williams, he further studied at the Royal Academy in Munich and painted with Rosenthal, Chase, Duveneck, and Whistler.
Upon returning to San Francisco in 1881, he began painting Chinatown subjects. Three years were spent in Japan in the mid-1880s followed by years of traveling when he exhibited in London, NYC, Boston, and made a second trip to Japan before returning to San Francisco in 1898. About this time Wores concentrated on portraiture but began painting the California landscape for the first time.
The years 1901-03 were ones of travel in Hawaii, Samoa, and Spain. The Wores family home and his studio burned in the 1906 fire. The following year he was appointed dean of the San Francisco Art Institute, a position he held for six years. In 1913 he painted in Hawaii and Calgary, Canada and 1915-17 was spent in Taos, NM where he painted the Southwest Indians. In 1926 he remodeled an abandoned church in Saratoga and converted it into a weekend retreat while maintaining a residence in San Francisco at 1001 California Street. His artistic output was great and included Japanese, Hawaiian, Samoan figure studies and San Francisco Chinatown subjects.
In his later years he concentrated on the flowering orchards around his studio in Saratoga. During his early career his palette held the warm brown colors of the Munich School and evolved later to the lighter shades of Impressionism.
Wores died in San Francisco in September 1939, bringing an end to a long and distinguished career.