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Alfred Mitchell (1888 - 1972)
California Impressionist
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Alfred Richard Miller (1888-1972)

Alfred Mitchell had been in Nevada during the Gold Rush and later settled in San Diego in 1908. There he began training in 1913 at the San Diego Academy of Art, the city's oldest art school, which had been founded by Maurice Braun. Mitchell was Braun's most important pupil, and at his teacher's suggestion, he went to study at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1916, where he became inclined away from Braun's 'feminine' Impressionism, and more toward the Pennsylvania school's stronger brush work and strong color. He adopted the clear light and strong outlines of Daniel Garber and others among the New Hope Impressionists, and especially admired the work of Edward Willis Redfield.

He returned to San Diego in the early 1920s and was president of the San Diego Art Guild in 1922-23. He also helped found the La Jolla Art Association in 1918 and exhibited his works there regularly. Because of its strong color, most of Mitchell's art is categorized more as Post-Impressionistic, although his painting Summer Hills of 1929 would probably be his best fully Impressionist piece.

Many Southern California landscapists of the 1920s composed ideal scenes from within their studios, but Mitchell continually painted outdoors, within a radius of San Diego, often including buildings in his paintings, thus creating a valuable record of the development of the area.

Along with Braun, Fries, and other artists and sculptors, Mitchell formed the Associated Artists of San Diego in 1929, later changing the name to Contemporary Artists of San Diego, which as a group represented the strong professional art community that had developed there.

Biography posted courtesy of Edan Hughes, Artists in California.