Elizabeth Byrd Mitchell
Mitchell was born in Baltimore and was a descendant of Charles Calvert, the third Lord Baltimore. As a high school student in the late 1940s, she began to attend weekend classes at the Maryland Institute, now the Maryland Institute College of Art. After earning her diploma, she began full-time studies at the Maryland Institute under Jacques Maroger, an influential teacher and former director of restoration at the Louvre. Mitchell was a member of the Baltimore Realists, a local painting group inspired by Maroger.
In 1965, Mitchell opened her own art academy called the Mitchell School of Fine Arts located originally in the kitchen of her Ruxton home. She continued her studies at the Schuler School of Fine Art from 1969 to 1972. In 1988, the Mitchell School of Fine Arts was relocated to Falls Road in Bare Hills, Maryland and Mitchell remained faculty chairwoman until her retirement in 2002.
Over the course of her career, Mitchell painted over 500 oil and pastel portraits of clergymen, judges, corporate executives, and physicians. Her work can be found in private, corporate, and institutional collections throughout the country. She was a founding member of Seven Women Realists, president of the Maryland Pastel Society, and a member of both the Charcoal Club and the Maryland Portrait Society.