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Jane Mitchell (1915-1988)

  • Jane Mitchell was a painter, printmaker, & designer.  She studied Art History and Fine Art at Wheaton College before studying in Iowa and New York City during the 1940s.  After living in New York Mitchell moved to Pennsylvania in the early 1950s.  A deep interest in architecture and design led her to working at Hess’s in Allentown, PA doing window display design.  This sculptural, hands-on work led to other jobs within the design world- furniture, graphic wallpaper design, advertising, and eventually clothing.  Mitchell supervised the remodeling of Pennsylvania Dutch farmhouses, a passion she maintained throughout her life and travels.

    In 1954, Mitchell moved to Ibiza, Spain.  She lived in the small expat community, mingling with other artists and developing her abstract painting style.   For several years, she lived with Danish sculptor Erik Rahr, whose move from realism to abstraction influenced her work.  At this time, Mitchell was influenced by the Cubists Braque and Picasso, and the Surrealist shapes of Miro.  Throughout her time in Spain she explored hard-edge abstraction, utilizing the organization and precision of her academic background in a Modernist expression.  She was endlessly inspired by the beauty of the Mediterranean- the local people, vivid colors, and organic shapes of the landscape.  At one point studioless, Mitchell completed a series of abstract drawings which she developed into paintings upon her return to the U.S. in 1970.
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