Vincent Colyer was born in Bloomingdale, New York in 1825. He studied art, specializing in landscape painting, in New York under John R. Smith, a painter, for four years and then was accepted as a student at the National Academy of Design, where he became an associate member in 1849. After the Civil War he settled in Darien, Connecticut and continued his paintings. Colyer also served as a secretary to the board of United States Indian Commissioners in the late 1860's and early 1870's. During his travels in the southwest and Alaska, he painted remarkable scenes of the landscapes, animals, and people he encountered. Vincent Colyer died July 12, 1888, on Contentment Island, Connecticut.