Joseph Biays Ord painted portraits and religious themes, but is best known for his still lifes of fruit. A native Philadelphian, he began to exhibit at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
in 1824. He also exhibited at the Apollo Association, at the Art-Union, the National Academy, of Design
in New York and the Maryland Historical Society
. Ord was a member of the first Council of the Artist's Fund Society in 1835. A portrait of his father, the ornithologist, is owned by the Academy of Natural Sciences. While his paintings are relatively scarce, he was the leading still life painter in Philadelphia in the 1840's (William Gerdts and Russell Burke, American Still Life
, [New York: Praeger Publishers, 1971, p. 48]).