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 Gladys Vinson Mitchell  (1894 - 1968)

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Lived/Active: Illinois/New Mexico/Florida      Known for: landscape, pueblo and Indian figure painting, woodblock

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Ad Code: 3
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
"Back-Yards", Oak Park Illinois
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following is from Tom Jordon, grandson of the artist:

Gladys Magnolia Vinson Mitchell was my paternal grandmother.  She spent her childhood in Texas and New Mexico.  Her father was a Methodist minister, who left his family when my grandmother, the youngest of three girls, was young.  She married my grandfather, Alexander Cuthbertson Mitchell in Texas.  My grandfather came to this country to receive his college degree from Norway; he was of Scottish descent, born in the Faroe Islands.

My grandmother was working for a photographer when she met my grandfather, who had a life-long hobby of photography.  After my grandfather returned from the trenches of France, they settled in Chicago.  My understanding is that they lived in a house built by Frank Lloyd Wright, in Oak Park, Il.  My father was born in April of 1923.  My grandparents had lost a baby daughter shortly after birth about three years before.  My father has no siblings.  My grandfather worked for AT&T.

Sometime in the 1920's, they moved to Cranford, NJ, and my grandfather worked in Manhattan.  My grandmother saw a Vincent Van Gogh show in 1931, which had a great impact on her paintings.  After that show the colors on her palette were much brighter.  When my father was a young child my grandparents, primarily my grandmother, started vacationing in the summers in the Catskills, outside of Woodstock, NY.

Many of the paintings I've seen of her work are of this area.  My father said that before she would paint a painting, she would do a color pencil sketch in her car first of the landscape she wanted to paint.  Not a business woman, consequentially she was a financial disaster.  She and my grandfather separated in the fall of 1936 (I think that's the year), and divorced.  My father ended up living with his mother in West Hurley, NY, and graduated from Kingston High School, Kingston, NY.

Eventually, my grandmother moved to St. Augustine Florida. She died September 12th, 1968. I think she was 73 years old. (She always lied about her age.)

Not only did she paint and sketch but, she experimented with many different media. I know she was a sculptor, and she made jewelry, woodblock prints, copper engravings... she also sang as a young woman.  My understanding is that she was a soprano.

I know there was at least one exhibition of her life's work in St. Augustine, I don't know about any other shows.


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