Between 1912-1929 the Franciscan scholar, Fr. Zephryrin Engelhardt, O.F.M. published a comprehensive five-volume study Missions and Missionaries of California. He also began work on the first definitive books of each of the missions. Initially, Fr. Engelhardt worked with Arthur Burnside Dodge (1863-1952), who was then Art Director of the Los Angeles Times. Dodge completed seven of the early illustrations. Fr. Engelhardt then engaged Alexander Harmer (1856-1925), who ultimately contributed over 80% of the drawings.
The drawings in this gallery cover a wide range of events from the founding of the first missions in San Diego in 1769 to the raising of the United States flag in Monterey in 1846.
Many of these illustrations have been professionally colorized by Susan Gamble, under contract with the California Missions Resource Center. Over the years, we have licensed the use of many of these images to the Smithsonian, the Getty Museum, the California Museum and made them available to mission scholars, authors and video producers. We also have the ability to provide museum-quality prints for individuals and institutions who seek an historic image.