Jack Mitchell (b. 1925) learned basic photography from his father and by avid reading of photography magazines. He has earned his living from photography since age fifteen. Also, at age fifteen his first nationally published photograph, a portrait of his oil painting instructor, appeared in The Complete Photographer .
He moved from Florida to New York City in 1950, four years after completion of duty as a U.S. Army public relations photographer in Florence and Venice, Italy. At the suggestion of modern dance pioneer Ted Shawn he concentrated on photographing dance and dancers. Continuing success in that field became the portal to his work with major creative and performing artists of all disciplines.
Jack Mitchell was the photographer for American Ballet Theater for ten years, taking all the photographs for their souvenir program books from 1960 to 1970. He also produced souvenir book photography for Boston Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Pennsylvania Ballet, Houston Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and San Francisco Ballet. He has photographed most of the world's leading dance companies for The New York Times and for Dance Magazine.
The July, 2003 issue of Dance Magazine featured Mitchell's 168th cover photograph for that publication. His photographs of performing and creative artists have also appeared on the covers of and in Rolling Stone, The New YorkTimes Magazine, People Magazine, Newsweek, Time, Life, Vogue, Elle, Harpers Bazaar, Vanity Fair, Madam Figaro, Stern, and virtually every domestic and international publication featuring photographs of arts personalities.
His portrait of musicians John Lennon and Yoko Ono was used on the cover of the circulation record-setting December 1980 Lennon Memorial edition of People Magazine. But, Jack Mitchell is best known for his numerous special assignment photographs for the Arts and Leisure section of The New York Times from 1970 to 1995. When he closed his New York studio on December 17th, 1995, The New York Times published a full page illustrated article about his work and career. Annette Grant's opening paragraph stated, "They come in tutus and togas, in waistcoats and wigs, sweaters and jeans. They get there by limousines, on the subway, by foot. Virtually everyone who is someone in the arts has found a path to Jack Mitchell's photography studio on East 74th Street near First Avenue in New York."
After a forty-five
year career in New York City he now resides, in semi-retirement, in Florida,
producing black and white exhibition prints from his vast negative files and
working on the concept and content for a book of his fifty five years of Dance
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