Mitchell is born February 12, in Chicago, Illinois, to James Herbert and Marion (Strobel) Mitchell, the second of two daughters.
Mitchell (left) with her sister, Sally.
A young Joan Mitchell.
Mitchell with her mother.
Mitchell’s mother, Marion Strobel Mitchell, was the daughter of Charles Louis Strobel, a prominent steel engineer who had designed structural elements for bridges over the Chicago River. She was a published lyric poet and co-editor of Poetry magazine with Harriet Monroe. Together Mitchell and Monroe publish works, some for the first time in America, by Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot among others. It is through her mother that Mitchell is introduced to poetry and literature in her early childhood and meets many writers, including Dylan Thomas, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Thornton Wilder.