Frances Mitchell Wardin Biography

Frances Mitchell Wardin




Frances Mitchell Wardin (nee John Francis Mitchell), painter and printmaker, was born in Topeka, Kansas on January 19, 1888. Her parents were John Francis and Cornelia Ann Mitchell. She was named by her father and the name John Francis Mitchell is recorded on her birth certificate. She would later change the spelling of her middle name to the feminine Frances and she used "J. Frances" in her professional life.

Mitchell studied painting with Robert Henri at the New York School of Art (now the New York Academy of Art). She married Harry Hutton Wardin of Topeka in 1915. Her husband was the junior partner in the jewelry store C. E. Wardin & Sons located on South Kansas Avenue. Harry died in 1921 at the age of 32 and Frances became an owner of the store.  She worked on the Federal Art Project in Kansas in 1939 and returned to New York in the late 1940s or 1950 and worked at Stanley William Hayter’s Atelier 17.   

Frances Mitchell Wardin died in Topeka on January 12, 1983.