Mildred Bryant Brooks, printmaker, teacher and lecturer, was born in Marysville, Missouri on July 21, 1901. Her family moved to Long Beach, California in 1907. She attended high school in Long Beach and went on to study art at the University of Southern California. After USC, Brooks continued her studies with selected classes at the Otis and Chouinard Art Institutes, where she was a pupil of Arthur Millier and Frank Tolles Chamberlin. Chamberlin became her mentor and encouraged her to try her hand at etching and she received further instruction from E. Stetson Crawford. Brooks' teaching career began in 1929 at the Stickney Art Institute in Pasadena where she installed her etching press and printed for artists.
Brooks was a member of the California Society of Etchers, California Society of Printmakers, Chicago Society of Etchers, Society of American Etchers and the Pasadena Society of Artists. Her etchings were included in numerous national exhibitions and garnered twenty-two awards. Her print, Companions, was awarded the main prize at the Chicago Society of Etchers exhibition in 1937 and this was the first time the Society had honored either a woman or a Westerner. Brooks gave up printmaking during World War II and turned her attention to mural painting.
Brooks' work is represented in the collections of the Library of Congress, New York Public Library, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Dayton Art Institute, University of Nebraska, Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Los Angeles Public Library.
Mildred Bryant Brooks died in Santa Barbara, California on July 3, 1995.