Henry Mitchell

Henry H. Mitchell
Writer and Artist

Making the Real Thing Accessible

Henry Mitchell's passion is “making the real thing accessible,” as he states it. He especially enjoys neglected and forgotten treasures, literal and philosophical, and helping others to make connections with them. Henry assists his wife Patricia with Mitchells Publications, a venture which she began in 1973. Since then they have together, and with their three children, explored numerous topics under the Mitchells banner.

The New Orleans Years

Their first publishing effort was The Community Standard magazine in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Simultaneously Patricia operated Mitchells Regional Crafts and Art, where explanatory printed material accompanied the merchandise.

Southern Virginia Sojourn

Later the Mitchell family focused their cameras and writing on historical and natural assets of their native Southside Virginia, distributing postcards and providing photography services including heirloom restoration. For over twenty years 1985-2006 they provided B&B accommodations for Virginia travelers at their historic property, the Sims-Mitchell House. For fifteen years 1979-1994 Henry also operated a planetarium in their hometown of Chatham for the local school system, a responsibility which included constant writing and photography, again with emphasis on local nature and history. In the meantime Patricia developed her extensive Inkling Series of American food history publications, with the assistance of Henry, Sarah, David, and Jonathan. The family has authored hundreds of web articles on local and regional topics. After forty-five years back in Chatham, Henry and Patricia moved to the coast of South Carolina.

Food and Design History

Patricia's Inkling Series books are the family's largest effort in ink-on-paper, available directly from the Mitchells and at museums and specialty bookstores throughout America. Their daughter Sarah has participated in the food history effort since its beginning, and now has her own parallel Vintage Designs Series, dealing with clothing and architectural history. An additional large body of publishing is accessible within the Mitchell family's now-numerous websites.

Art and the Technical Side

Henry's drawings are found on and in many of Patricia's books, and during the 1980s he produced several editions of etchings of New Orleans and Charleston (see HHMitchell.com). During 2005 as a community volunteer he designed a public memorial for beloved Chatham lamplighter Joe White.

Henry's academic background is in electrical engineering (he served as a U.S. Air Force Communications Officer, involved in electronics and cryptography) and mathematical systems analysis. However, it is not hard to find the roots of his interest in graphic arts. His mother was prolific artist Mary Helvey Mitchell. His great-grandfather Timothy E. Mitchell was one of the first studio photographers in antebellum southwest Virginia, and his father J. T. W. Mitchell was a lifelong photographer as well.

(See online articles by Henry Mitchell.)

This website and its HenryHMitchell.com portal are sponsored by Mitchells Publications.