Mitchell & Mitchell: A father and son arts legacy


Mitchell & Mitchell: A father and son arts legacy


ISBN: 9780947503871 Category: Tags: ,


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Leonard C. Mitchell and Leonard V. Mitchell – father and son – are two forgotten artistic heroes. Now, critically studied for the first time, their highlight reel runs long. No other family can likely claim such a diverse contribution to New Zealand art. This beautifully designed and illustrated title brings together these amazing New Zealanders and breathes life into their phenomenal artistic legacy. Leonard Cornwall Mitchell (1901-71) has been called the father of New Zealand graphic design; a stand-out illustrator and designer. Some of Mitchell’s posters, including his welcoming wahine for the Centennial Exhibition, are graphic masterpieces; the epitome of great design. For Mitchell’s first son, Leonard Victor Mitchell (1925-80), art was a natural family fix. At age 31, he won the first Kelliher Art Award and painted one of New Zealand’s most ambitious murals (Human Endeavour, installed in Lower Hutt’s War Memorial Library). But within four years, despite another Kelliher win and multiple big-name portrait commissions, Mitchell moved to Europe, pushed out by Modernism never to return again. Only now, through privileged access to his own repatriated collection, can Mitchell’s art be fully understood. This incredible body of work has been carefully crafted by the author Peter Alsop and designer Anna Reed (Leonard V. Mitchell’s grand-daughter), and is a fantastic edition to the kernels of New Zealand’s art history.

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Dimensions 260 × 290 mm

Peter Alsop

Author Bio

PETER ALSOP lives in Wellington with his wife and four young children. He is a senior executive who has worked across the public and private sectors. Peter is a keen collector of New Zealand art and design, with particular interests in tourism publicity, vintage advertising, handcoloured photography and mid-century New Zealand landscape paintings – interests that have led him to pursue publications as a spare-time passion, this being his ninth book. ANNA REED (nee Mitchell) is a freelance graphic and web designer and director of the newly-established Mitchell Studios gallery in Khandallah, Wellington. Mitchell & Mitchell, her first foray into book design, has not only taken Anna back to her art history studies but also served to acquaint her with two lost family members. RICHARD WOLFE is an art, design and cultural historian who has a BFA from the Elam School of Fine Arts (1969-72) and an MA in art history, and has written or co-authored some 40 books covering aspects of New Zealand art, history and popular culture. He has contributed over 50 articles to the quarterly Art New Zealand, as well as articles to other journals, and has curated or supported the development of multiple art exhibitions. In addition to writing and researching and following the art scene, Richard enjoys reading, listening to music and making things in his home workshop.



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