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California Impressionist: Alfred R. Mitchell (1888-1972)

Professor Molly McClain

One hundred years ago, the scenic beauty of Southern California rivaled that of Tuscany and the Italian Riviera, causing more than one writer to describe the region as “Our Italy.” Artists flocked to the region, eager to capture panoramas of sea, hills, and sky. Among them was Alfred R. Mitchell, a graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, whose career blossomed in the 1920s and 1930s. In addition to producing spectacular images of La Jolla Cove, Torrey Pines, Julian, and the Cuyamaca Mountains, he took a leadership role in the San Diego arts community. This lecture will review Mitchell’s work, including his vision of the southland as a Theosophist, one who believed in the visual manifestation of spiritual ideas.

Instructor: Molly McClain is a professor of history at the University of San Diego. She recently published an acclaimed biography, Ellen Browning Scripps: New Money and American Philanthropy. She also coedits The Journal of San Diego History.

Coordinator: Candace Gietzen

Course Number: OSHR-70162   Credit: 0 units

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