Henry Oliver Walker traveled to Paris in 1879 to study with the French painter Léon Bonnat. In 1882 he returned to New York, where he established a studio and painted murals and portraits. His murals can be found in many public buildings across the United States, including the Library of Congress and the Massachusetts State House. In 1888 he married textile designer Laura Marquand, and the couple spent several summers at the artists’ colony in Cornish, New Hampshire. After several years in New York, Walker settled with his wife in the pine woods in Lakewood, New Jersey.