About Joan Mitchell

Joan Mitchell (1925–1992) was an artist who created abstract oil paintings, drawings, and prints.

Joan Mitchell in her Vétheuil studio, 1983. Photograph by Robert Freson, Joan Mitchell Foundation Archives. © Joan Mitchell Foundation.

In 1974, Joan Mitchell shared with curator Marcia Tucker: “Music, poems, landscape, and dogs make me want to paint... And painting is what allows me to survive.”

These touchpoints were constants for Mitchell in a life that took her from Chicago to New York to her adopted home of France. Learn more about the influences, milestones, and people that impacted her life and work.

Mitchell’s Artwork

Joan Mitchell’s primary medium was oil paint on canvas, although she also created drawings and prints. Over the course of nearly five decades, she established a singular visual vocabulary rooted in gestural abstraction.

Explore Mitchell's Artwork

My paintings repeat a feeling about Lake Michigan, or water, or fields... It’s more like a poem... and that’s what I want to paint.”

Joan Mitchell, in Marion Cajori's film "Joan Mitchell: Portrait of an Abstract Painter"

Archives & Research

The Foundation collects and preserves materials that illuminate Joan Mitchell’s life, work, and legacy, making them available to students and scholars.

Selected Books & Media

We've compiled a group of books, articles, oral histories, and documentaries about Joan Mitchell and her work.

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