Mildred, the eldest of four children, was born to Edward and Alice Lovett on 13 September 1880 in Hobart.
After attending Mrs H. Barnard’s Ladies School from 1887-1893 she went to work as a photographic retoucher at McGuffie’s ‘Alba Studio’ in Hobart. This was one of the few jobs available in the late nineteenth century for talented school leavers.
Having left McGuffie’s in 1896 she enrolled at the Hobart Technical College and studied painting, modelling, life-drawing and china painting under Benjamin Sheppard and Ethel Nicholls.
In 1898-99 she studied for six months at Julian Ashton’s Art School, one of the foremost independent art schools in Sydney in the firs
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