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Alfred Mitchell Biography:
Alfred Mitchell holds a high place in the early California school of art, he became an important seminal member of the budding art colony in San Diego. Born in the town of York, Pennsylvania in 1888, young Alfred Mitchell settled in San Diego in 1908, his plein-air paintings captured of the growth of San Diego County in the early 20th century.
Like many young men seeking their fortune, Mitchell as a teenager traveled to Nevada during the Gold Rush where he prospected for gold and drove a coach. Then he found his way to Southern California, where in 1913, he began his art training at the San Diego Academy of Art. The academy was founded by Maurice Braun, who regarded Mitchell as one of his most important pupils. He encouraged Mitchell to return to his native state and study at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Enrolling there in 1916, Mitchell studied with Joseph Pearson, and New Hope Impressionists Daniel Garber and Edward Redfield. With these influences of the New Hope School and Pennsylvannia Impressionism, Mitchell's style evolved to incorporate clearer lines, bolder brush work and stronger colors.
Mitchell returned to San Diego in the early 1920s and became a major influence in the art community. He was president of the San Diego Art Guild in 1922-23. He was a founding member of the Laguna Beach Art Association, and he exhibited his works regularly at the La Jolla Art Association. Along with Braun 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. After enjoying a long and successful career in San Diego, Alfred Mitchell died in 1972.