Sybilla Mittell Weber, Tropical, 1952. Etching, 28.5 x 25.4 cm. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

91. Sybilla Mittell Weber

Life Dates1892-1957
Place of BirthNew York, NY, USA
Place of DeathNew York, NY, USA
Birth NameSybilla Mittell

Sybilla Mittell was born in New York, second child and only daughter of German transplants Philip and Anna Mittell. Her father was a musician, and transportation records show the family traveled frequently between the United States and Europe when she was a child.1 The first recorded evidence of her artistic activities occurred in 1915, when she exhibited an oil painting at the MacDowell Club in New York City.2 She pursued studies in Munich with Alfons Purtscher, known for his specialty in animal paintings, and in New York with Joseph Pennell (1924-25 academic year), who established the printmaking program at the Art Students League.3 Sybilla Mittell Weber—the name she used professionally after marriage in 1921 to the Austrian chemist, Lothar Emil Weber—eventually combined her two teachers’ areas of interest, and she became a noted specialist in prints of animals. In 1937, she won the prestigious Charles M. Lea prize, awarded at the print annual of the Philadelphia Print Club, for her drypoint of whippets entitled Racing II (1936).4 In addition to solo exhibitions at the Milch Gallery (1932) and the Kleeman Gallery (1937), Mittell Weber showed her prints frequently in print annuals across the United States. She was a longtime member of the Society of American Etchers (later the Society of American Graphic Artists). Although her approach was decidedly traditional, Mittell Weber pursued instruction at Atelier 17 in the spring of 1952, presumably because she wanted to learn engraving—most of her prints, up to this point, were etchings or drypoints.5 Shortly after her affiliation with Atelier 17, the artist exhibited a color engraving of two flamingos, titled Tropical, in SAGA’s annual and the Second Print Annual at the Portland Museum of Art (1953). Mittell Weber died in 1957 in her hometown of New York City.

Selected Bibliography

“Art Exhibition.” The Standard Union, January 13, 1932.

Early, Joe. “Around the Town.” Brooklyn Times Union, April 6, 1932.

“Exhibit of Water Colors and Etchings Opens Tomorrow.” The Courier-News. November 13, 1936.

“Sybilla Mittell Weber at Doll & Richards.” The Boston Globe, October 17, 1954.

“The World of Art.” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, December 29, 1915.


  1. Biographical information courtesy 1920 census, Yonkers Ward 8, Westchester, New York; Roll: T625_1281; Page: 21B; Enumeration District: 256, and two travel databases: Staatsarchiv Hamburg, Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934 (Provo, UT: Operations, Inc., 2008) and New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820- 1957 (Provo, UT: Operations, Inc., 2010).
  2. “The World of Art,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, December 29, 1915, 24.
  3. Peter Hastings Falk, ed., Who Was Who in American Art, vol. III: P-Z (Madison, CT: Sound View Press, 1999), 3492. See also student registration cards, Art Students League of New York.
  4. Mittell Weber’s prize-winning drypoint, Racing II, is illustrated in C. H. Bonte, “Print Club’s Annual Show by the Etchers of America,” Philadelphia Inquirer, April 18, 1937, 87.
  5. Student ledger book, p.39, Allentown Art Museum/Grippe Collection, Allentown, Penn.