|Place of Birth||New York, NY, USA|
|Place of Death||unknown|
|Birth Name||Frances Mitchell|
Frances Mitchell was born on June 17, 1914 in New York City.1 Her parents, both immigrants from Russia, moved the family to Bridgeport, Connecticut, by 1925 where her father opened the factory for Mitchell Brothers, Inc., maker of women’s underwear.2 She attended high school locally at Warren Harding High School and, by 1940, she was working for the family business as a designer. In late 1941, Mitchell began attending classes at the Art Students League, studying with a variety of instructors—Robert Brackman, George Grosz, Jon Corbino, Alexander Brook, Cameron Booth, Reginald Marsh, Robert Ward Johnson, Harry Sternberg, and Ossip Zadakine—through the beginning of 1945.3 Around this time, she began working at Atelier 17, and she exhibited an apocalyptically titled aquatint, End of the World, in the studio’s 1947 show at the Leicester Galleries, which features a gnarled tree. Further information about Mitchell’s later life is sparse. According to records at the Art Students League, she enrolled in classes in 1966 while living at 666 West End Avenue in New York City.
- Disambiguation: Frances Mitchell is often confused with Frances Mitchell Wardin (1888-1983) who was born in Topeka, Kansas and worked as an artist for the WPA in Kansas. ↩
- Notice of the factory’s opening appeared in “New Factory for Women’s Wear in West End Plant,” The Bridgeport Telegram, March 18, 1925, 8. Biographical information throughout courtesy of census records: 1920: Manhattan Assembly District 19, New York, New York; Roll: T625_1220; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 1313; Image: 848; 1930: Bridgeport, Fairfield, Connecticut; Roll: 256; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0057; Image: 5.0; FHL microfilm: 2339991; 1940: Bridgeport, Fairfield, Connecticut; Roll: T627_532; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 9-100. ↩
- Student registration card, Art Students League of New York. ↩