Mildred Bryant was born in Missouri and grew up in Long Beach, California. She studied art at University of Southern California, also taking classes at Otis and Chouinard Art Institutes. It was Frank Tolles Chamberlin who encouraged her to become an etcher. In the 1930s, she produced most of her etchings of trees and California landscapes, such as the one here. Arthur Millier, artist and art critic for the Los Angeles Times, wrote that she created “America’s best etchings of trees.”
Mildred Bryant Brooks was the President of the California Printmakers eight times, exhibiting frequently with the group. She had one-person exhibitions at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. in 1936; and the Laguna Art Museum in 1975. Brooks also exhibited nationally and internationally at the National Academy of Design, New York City; Society of American Etchers, New York City; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; International Printmakers; and the Paris International, in France.
Her artworks are in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Laguna Art Museum; Fine Arts Gallery, San Diego, California; Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; National Gallery, Washington, D.C.; Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio; University of Nebraska, Lincoln; and University of Vermont, Burlington.
Little Fugitives was donated to the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art by Judy J. Cardwell in 2017.