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Artist Mildred Scott Townsend

Our friend Richard Bale who recently lectured about growing up in Altadena sent AHS this information on artist Mildred Scott Townsend.  She had a studio in the Highview Avenue neighborhood where Richard grew up.  He sent this information:

Mildred spent many of her
Altadena years painting in the San Gabriels.

Born in Illinois, September 13, 1897, Mildred Scott (Townsend) graduated from Northwestern University, studied at the Chicago Art Institute and did graduate work at the University of Wisconsin. In 1921 she married Elmer Scott Townsend. She suffered a tubercular hemorrhage in 1926, then travelled to Southern California where she entered a sanitarium in Monrovia. Her recovery over the next few years was successful. 

“Hasting’s Ranch”
In 1935, the couple moved to the area permanently. Elmer Townsend established a clothing business in Pasadena. They purchased a home in Altadena at 2677 Highview Avenue where they had a multi-windowed studio built atop the single-story house. 
2677 Highview
The house has fallen into disrepair although
it looks like some renovation work just started.

The upper story room (noted by oval)
was added by the Townsends to serve
as Mildred’s studio.

As her health continued to improve, Mildred became increasingly active in painting.  

“Sierra Vista”
During the 1940s Mildred camped
and painted in the High Sierras.

In 1953 she studied at the Instituto Allende in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, painting there and in Guanajuato. In the 1950s, through her studies with Richard Ruben, she moved strongly in to the abstract field. In 1958 she won the Pasadena Society of Artists McBride award and a first award with the Pasadena Art Festival. In 1959 she again won the McBride award and other firsts with the Woman Painters of the West. Between 1958 and 1964 her resume listed 16 awards. 

Mildred favored landscapes, working in
Altadena’s Millard and Eaton Canyons,
and Big Tujunga Canyon.

Mildred continued to paint after downsizing to a retirement home in Laguna Hills in 1971. She won a first award at the Laguna Hills Fall Show with a painting that was reproduced on the cover of the January 1973 edition of “Orange County Illustrated” magazine. She died January 29, 1985. 

Mildred in Laguna Hills, about 1970.
Note her painting “Hasting’s Ranch”
is on wall to her right. 

Twenty-five of Mildred Scott Townsend’s abstracts, many of them award winners, are housed at the Bower Museum in Santa Ana.