Photographs by Ann Mitchell
AUSTIN VAL VERDE: Impressions of a Montecito Masterpiece
144 pages
8-3/4 x 12
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Seventeen-and-one-half-acre Austin Val Verde is one of the few preserved great early 20th Century Southern California estates.  It is a pivotal work in the career of the famous 20th century American architect Bertram Goodhue.  Its celebrated and extensive gardens are the masterpiece of Lockwood de Forest, Jr., one of the most important landscape architects in Southern California during the last one hundred years.  For three decades, Austin Val Verde housed one of the finest private collections of Greek and Roman sculpture, and for many years a number of celebrities from the worlds of film, stage, music, literature, and art visited or stayed at the estate.
Ann Mitchell’s haunting studies of Val Verde reveal its original grandeur layered with the now-shabby elegance of later owners. From the overgrown Italian landscaping to draped and furnished boudoirs her evocative images afford the reader the rare opportunity of exploring the estate as if the owners had just left.

THE PHOTOGRAPHER - Ann Mitchell was born in New York City in 1956. She received her BFA in Photography from Art Center College of Design in 1984. She worked as an advertising and editorial photographer for over a decade, then left to pursue her own imagery, concentrating on urban landscapes and structures. In 1997 she completed her MFA from Claremont Graduate University and is currently an Associate Professor of Art at Long Beach City College, where she has also served as Department Head.

Her photographs have been included in a large number of solo and group exhibitions in the western United States.  She has also served as curator for several exhibitions.  Her work has been reproduced in a number of publications, including View Camera Magazine, Los Angeles Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens, Victoria and Home Magazines. Ann Mitchell continues to teach and pursue her photographic interests in structures and how we interact with our environments.