Margaretta Mitchell

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Margaretta Mitchell (née Kuhlthau, born May 27, 1935) is an American photographer and writer who lives in Berkeley, California. As a photographer, she is known for her portraits and still lifes. She has authored art criticism, biographies of women artists, and photographic histories.

Early life[edit]

Mitchell was born May 27, 1935 in Brooklyn, New York, the second child of Conrad W. and Margaretta Kuhlthau.[1] After graduating magna cum laude in 1957 from Smith College, Mitchell (then Kuhlthau) served until 1959 as a research assistant to Edwin Land, who was instrumental in the invention of the Polaroid instant camera.[2][3]


Mitchell’s photographs belong to the Pictorialist tradition, addressing formal concerns of line and shadow primarily in black and white. She occasionally incorporates graphic media, particularly in images of flowers.[3] Her work can be found in the collections of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art,[4] the International Center of Photography,[5] the Akron Art Museum,[6] and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art,[7] among others.

In perhaps her best-known work, Mitchell worked with the International Center of Photography in New York City in the late 1970s to mount a traveling exhibition and accompanying book on women photographers. Recollections: Ten Women of Photography included works by Berenice Abbott, Ruth Bernhard, Carlotta Corpron, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, Nell Dorr, Toni Frissell, Laura Gilpin, Lotte Jacobi, Consuelo Kanaga, and Barbara Morgan, bringing attention to the previously overlooked contributions of women to photography.[8]

Other publications include To a Cabin with Dorothea Lange (1973),[9][10] Dance for Life (1985), Flowers (1991), a biography of photographer Ruth Bernhard (2000), and The Face of Poetry (2005).[2]

Personal life[edit]

She and Frederick Mitchell married on May 23, 1959 in New Brunswick, New Jersey.[11] The couple raised three daughters.[12] Frederick Mitchell died in 1996.[13] In 2018 she married Sim Warkov.[14]


  1. ^ "New York Birth Records and 1940 US Census". May 24, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Who's Who in American Art 2012. 2012.
  3. ^ a b Rosenblum, Naomi (2010). A History of Women Photographers. New York: Abbeville Press.
  4. ^ "Amon Carter Collection Catalogue".
  5. ^ "ICP Collection".
  6. ^ "Akron Museum Collection".
  7. ^ "Margaretta Mitchell, Sim Warkov". New York Times. October 18, 2018.
  8. ^ "Photography Exhibition To Center on 10 Women". New York Times. September 3, 1979.
  9. ^ C.E.O. (28 October 1973). "The Sea, A Cabin, A Place To Be Free". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. St. Louis, Missouri. p. 4C. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  10. ^ Lang, Tony (15 November 1973). "To a cabin". The Cincinnati Inquirer. Cincinnati, Ohio. p. 51. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  11. ^ "Miss Kuhlthau Is Bride Of Frederick Mitchell". New York Times. May 24, 1959.
  12. ^ "Obituaries". Erie Times-News (PA). February 8, 1996.
  13. ^ Schwartz, Stephen. "Obituary–Frederick Mitchell". Retrieved 2 October 2021.
  14. ^ "Margaretta Mitchell, Sim Warkov". New York Times. October 18, 2018.