(1900 - 1980)
Alfred S. Mira was active/lived in New York. Alfred Mira is known for landscape, structure, still life.
Biography from the Archives of askART
My boyhood days were spent between school and my father's carpentry shop. My interest in both these fields was overshadowed by my insatiable desire to draw. The books from which I was to learn my reading, writing and arithmetic were cluttered with pictures I had drawn on every available blank space. This aroused the wrath of my teachers who showed their unfriendliness. I believe I was allowed to graduate, not because I was an astute student, but because of their desire to be rid of me.
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I embarked on my studies by obtaining a Job at an interior decorator's studio. My wish, however, was to go to an art school but this was impossible because my parents felt that a fifty-cent daily expenditure was an extravagance for a hobby in which they there was no future. My Salary at the studio was $3.00 a week, which my father granted me the right to save.
In 1919 I entered the National Academy of Design. My saving soon dwindled, so I left school and went back to work. I found employment in a Mural Art Studio. When time permitted, I attended the studio class at Beaux Arts School. After three years, I again matriculated at the National Academy in Ivan Olinsky's class.
At every opportunity I went outdoors to paint. My friends suggested that I have a studio exhibition with these studies and to my surprise, I sold almost all, so I planned to go to California where the climate and color were most suitable for my purpose. I was joined by a fellow student in this trip, who suggested we hitchhike our way to the coast so that we could stop here and there to paint. So we started our journey. We took the ferry to New Jersey and from there on we exercised our thumbs. One of our "lifters" suggested that we go via Detroit and stop there to paint the portraits of his parents. This was my first commission, and I need not say that I was filled with anxiety and fear. The results of this work brought several other portraits. After a few months, I became so absorbed in my work that I had completely forgotten about California. By this time my companion had become homesick and he induced me to return with him.
In 1926, with the money I had earned, I was able to have a good skylight studio, and there I set on a career of earning a living with painting, at the same time attending the studio class at the Art Students League.
The lure of the outdoors always attracted me, especially the city streets with their movements, color and depth-they were the things that inspired me and which I painted as they looked and as I felt them. Judging by my style and subjects, my artist friends argued that I was influenced by French Impressionists. While I bare great esteem for the French Masters, I do not claim comparison with them. However, my ultimate goal is to paint exclusively American Impressionism.
In 1928, my adventurous spirit took hold of me again and I went to Europe. I arrived in Paris and found that the gay life was not conducive to constructive work, so I went to South France with its sunny skies and mild climate where I was able to accomplish more. After traveling throughout the continent, I was awakened to the realization that the work I had done in Europe did not serve my purposes, and that I was better inspired in Washington Square.
Back home in New York, I devoted myself to painting street scenes. In 1929, my first effort to exhibit one of my street scenes was at the National Academy. The critics received this very kindly and I was so encouraged that I attempted other national exhibits that have flattered me in accepting every one of my paintings.
Alfred Mira died in 1980.
Roughton Galleries, Dallas, Texas
Courtesy to AskART from Brian Roughton
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