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Alfred Mitchell
(1888-1972)


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"California Ranch"
Oil on board
13 x 16 1/4 inches









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Alfred Mitchell was born in York, Pennsylvania on June 18, 1888. Mitchell spent his childhood in New Jersey and spent a lot of his time sculpting animals from clay that he found along a riverbank. His mother, who conducted private school, encouraged him to pursue his interest in art. As a teenager, he prospected for gold and drove a stage coach in Nevada.

Mitchell settled in San Diego about 1909 and studied at the San Diego Academy of Art in 1913 under artist Maurice Braun. In 1916, he entered the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts for further training under artists Daniel Garber, Edward Redfield, and Joseph T. Pearson Jr. In 1920, he was offered the Cresson European Travel Scholarship and visited England, France, Italy, and Spain during the summer of 1921. He spent two years in the military and returned to San Diego. His paintings done during his student days (pre-1920) were often signed "Fred Mitchell". Mitchell was essentially a realist, clearly influenced by Thomas Eakins, a product of the academy, and a colorist whose approach to art was less theoretical and more straightforward. He is one of San Diego’s most renowned painter and teacher and spent his life developing his talent and career there. He died in San Diego on November 9, 1972.

Member: Contemporary Artists of San Diego; Laguna Beach Artists Association; La Jolla Artists Association (co-founder); San Diego Art Guild (president 1922-23); Chula Vista Art Guild; California Art Club.

Exhibited: Panama California Exposition, San Diego, California 1915; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Pennsylvania, 1920, 1927; Painters and Sculptors of Los Angeles, California, 1923; California State Fair, California, 1930; California Pacific International Exposition, California, 1935; Golden Gate International Exposition, San Francisco, California, 1939; San Diego Art Institute, California, 1956, 1960.

Works Held: Reading Museum, Pennsylvania; San Diego Museum of Art, California; San Diego Public Library, California; Van Nuys High School, California; San Diego Museum of Man, California.

Source:
All Things Bright & Beautiful: California Impressionist Paintings from the Irvine Museum by the Irvine Museum
Artists in California: 1786-1940 by Edan Milton Hughes
Plein Air Painters of California: The Southland by Ruth Westphal