American Impressionist Gardner Symons was a native of Chicago, Illinois, and attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He also studied in the art capitals of Munich, London and Paris. Awards soon followed, from the National Academy of Design in New York City and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
Symons, who painted while working as a commercial artist, was among the first American artists to work in California, traveling there in 1894. He had a studio in Laguna Beach in the early 1900s.