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Monday, August 5, 2013


Home of Dorothea and Alfred Mitchell shortly after its completion in 1937 at 31st and Beech Sts.
BEECH STREET MASTER--Alfred Mitchell established himself as a California plein-air artist in San Diego after arriving from his native York, PA in 1913.  Fred, as he was known by friends and family, lived in his parents home at 1527 Granada in South Park for many years along with his brother, George Mitchell.

Alfred Mitchell (1888-1972)
Alfred Mitchell’s paintings of Southern California scenes in the early 20th century are considered master works and fetch large sums today.  His training began
 at the San Diego Academy of Art founded by Maurice Braun, who regarded Mitchell as one of his star pupils.

Braun 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 many fellow artists who called themselves the New Hope School and followers of Pennsylvania Impressionism.

Dorothea and Alfred Mitchell's former home has aged beautifully (2013).
Painting "Autumn in Julian" by Alfred Mitchell, is of the hamlet in the San Diego County's mountains, where he and his wife honeymooned.
Mitchell returned to San Diego in the early 1920s and became a major influence in the local 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.

Mitchell painting of Ocean Beach (San Diego) dated in the early 1940s.
On August 2, 1937, Mitchell and his wife, Dorothea, moved into a newly constructed home (which still stands) at 31st and Beech Streets in South Park.
San Diego icon architect Richard Requa designed the home.  The Mitchell’s paid for the design costs with one of Alfred’s paintings. The actual drafting of the home was by a member of the Requa/Jackson firm, Lloyd Ruocco, who became a leading architect in his own right.

Dorothea Mitchell named the couple’s South Park home “Deep Hearth.”

After enjoying a long and successful career in San Diego, Alfred Mitchell died in 1972.

His niece Mary Mitchell Sadler wrote a lengthy memoir on the Mitchell Family for the San Diego Historical Society.  It can be found at the following link:

Many images of Mitchell’s paintings can be viewed at the Marston House, the arts & Crafts era museum run by SOHO or by going to the Internet at

Former South Park home of the Mitchell clan (seen here in 2013) is still in top shape.

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