The cover illustration, Morning on the Bay, by Alfred R. Mitchell (1888-1972), recalls San Diego in the early 1920s before the din of rushing traffic and the roar of jet engines. The scene depicts the red brick tower of St. Joseph’s Church with North Island in the background. The landscape is filled with warm sunlight in an early morning calm.
The artist was a landscape painter who began his artistic career in San Diego. After a brief period of study at the Pennsylvania Academy of Art, he settled in San Diego and spent his entire career in the city. He can be considered San Diego’s first serious professional artist. His influence upon the cultural development of the community must also be noted. In those early years Mitchell was among the most active supporters of the Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego. A distinguished teacher, he conducted private and public classes for a generation of artists.
An exhibition of landscapes by Mitchell is currently on view at the Fine Arts Gallery. It affords an opportunity to examine the talents of this sensitive painter whose career spanned nearly six decades.
Cover Photo Courtesy Copley Books
Beech Street 1922-26
Page 43. Photographed in the 1930s, Alfred R. Mitchell stands in the center of a group of members of the “Contemporary Artists of San Diego” posed in the Fine Arts gallery of San Diego. Pictured in front of Mitchell is Mrs. Mitchell. Front, left to right: Charles A. Fries, Mrs. Alice Fries King, Mrs. Mitchell, Mrs. Leslie W. Lee, Mrs. Charles Reiffel. On Steps, left to right: Mrs. James Tank Porter, James Tank Porter, Mrs. Everett Gee Jackson, Everett Gee Jackson, Mitchell, Mrs. Leon Bonnet, Leslie W. Lee and Charles Reiffel.
Docks (San Diego Harbor) 1931
The Cove, (La Jolla)