In Memoriam

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Paul Chadbourne Mills ’49

Paul Chadbourne Mills ’49, September 17, 2004, in Santa Barbara, California, from lung cancer. Paul served in the U.S. Army in World War II, after which he enrolled at Reed, attending for three years. He worked as a reporter for the Bellevue American, in Washington, and completed a bachelor’s degree in art history at the University of Washington in 1953. He worked part time as assistant curator at the university’s Henry Art Gallery for two years, then took a position as curator for the Oakland Museum in California. In 1961, he completed a master’s degree in art history at the University of California, Berkeley. His’ association with the Oakland Museum lasted 17 years, during which he created a unique and comprehensive collection of California art, which he identified as "the heart of my life in the museum world." He became curator of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art in 1970, and remained for 12 years. In 1971, Paul received an honorary doctorate in fine arts from the California College of Arts and Crafts, and in 1994, the Oakland Museum’s Archives of California Art were renamed the "Paul Chadbourne Mills Archives." His professional associations included the American Association of Museums, the Association of Art Museum Directors. In retirement, Paul focused on community projects, including the Santa Barbara Flag Project and the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation. His business, Air Fair Flags, designed and created custom flags and banners for a variety of individuals, the city, and counties in California. He married high school friend Jan Dowd in 1955. During their monthlong honeymoon, they toured 44 art museums on the East Coast. Survivors include two daughters, a son, two grandchildren, and his sister. His wife died in 1999.

Appeared in Reed magazine: February 2005

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