Theodore Wores grew up in San Francisco, where a local artist noticed his talent and encouraged him to attend the Royal Academy in Munich. After six years in Munich, Wores returned to San Francisco eager for new subjects to paint, and was one of the first American artists to venture into the city’s Chinatown. He created several paintings of the Asian quarter and also taught Western art to a small group of Chinese students. In 1885, Wores traveled to Japan, where he stayed for almost three years, living among the Japanese and studying their customs, language, and art. Throughout the rest of his career, Wores traveled extensively, painting and sketching in Hawaii, Samoa, Canada, and New Mexico as well as California.