One of Mitchell's Skye Terriers, the namesakes of her painting "Skyes"
April–May. Has her first solo exhibition in Europe, at the Galerie Neufville, Paris, which is operated by Beatrice Monti and Lawrence Rubin.
May–June. She has her first solo exhibition in Italy at Beatrice Monti’s Galleria dell’Ariete, Milan.
Her first collaborative book, The Poems by John Ashbery, with five color silkscreens executed by Mitchell, is published by Tiber Press, New York.
Her mother is diagnosed with cancer.
"Skyes" (1960-61) featured on the cover of Art News
She receives the Premio Lissone in Milan.
October–December. The painting Atlantic Side (1960) is included in the important group exhibition “American Abstract Expressionists and Imagists,” organized by H. Harvard Arnason, at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.
November. Skyes (1960–61), entitled after her two Skye terrier dogs, is reproduced on the cover of Art News, in which her work is featured in the article “The found generation,” by Eleanor C. Munro.
November–December. The first major exhibition to survey a large period of her work, “Joan Mitchell: Paintings, 1951–61,” is held at the Mr. and Mrs. John Russell Mitchell Gallery (no relation), Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.
December. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, purchases Ladybug (1957).
Mitchell in her Frémicourt studio
Death of her father, James H. Mitchell.
Frank O'Hara, photo by Mario Schifano, 1965
July. Frank O’Hara is killed in an accident. The following year, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, with whose International Council he had worked since 1955, organizes the tribute exhibition “ln Memory of My Feelings” to honor the poet, and also publishes a limited-edition book with a selection of his poems and illustrations by thirty artists who had inspired him; work by Mitchell is included in both memorials. She later titles Ode to Joy (1970–71) in homage to her friend and his poetry.
Mitchell with her mother
Her mother dies of cancer, leaving a trust fund to her daughters that had been established by their maternal grandfather.
Mitchell's garden in Vétheuil, France
Mitchell has her first solo exhibition at the Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris in May–June. She will remain affiliated with the gallery until her death, having solo exhibitions there in 1969, 1971, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1984, 1987, 1990, and 1992. Galerie Jean Fournier will continue to exhibit the artist’s work after her death, holding solo exhibitions in 1994, 1995 and 1996.
July. Using the money inherited from her mother, Mitchell buys a two-acre estate in Vétheuil, a small village on a hillside overlooking the Seine, northwest of Paris. The gardener’s cottage on the property had once been Monet’s home, suggesting to many art historians an affinity between her paintings and Monet’s. Mitchell objects to the comparison, stating that she is much more indebted to Cézanne. She continues to paint exclusively in her studio on rue Frémicourt in Paris, visiting Vétheuil for weekends in the country with her dogs.
Mitchell with her sister, Sally Perry
In April, she has her first solo exhibition at the Martha Jackson Gallery, New York. She has two additional solo exhibitions there in 1972, and remains affiliated with the gallery through 1974.
In 1968 she begins to paint in Vétheuil, where she moves after the demolition of her studio in Paris, and establishes permanent residence there until her death. Unlike her previous studios, where large canvases had to be rolled in order to be moved down the stairs and, therefore, could not be painted thickly, the Vétheuil studio enables her to work for the first time without a concern for cracking paint.
Sunflower III, 1969
She completes the first paintings of the Sunflower series and other predominantly yellow paintings of the flower with different titles. Around 1969, Mitchell begins a practice of conferring titles as homages to friends, which will prevail in her later work.
Low Water (1969) hints at the rectilinear format that will dominate the paintings of 1970; concerns with death will become manifest in her paintings during 1970–71 and again in the 1980s.