Mimi van der Merwe was born in 1934 and grew up in Malmesbury. She studied literature at the University of Stellenbosch and did a three year diploma in Fine Art at the Stellenbosch Technical College at the same time, under Edith ten Kate.
In 1960 she went to Brussels where she studied painting and etching at the Academy Royale. In 1961 and 1962 she specialised in etching at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, under Professor Jean E. Bersier. In 1961-62 she obtained a bursary from the French government, and at the end of her studies she obtained the Prix de l`Atelier.
Mimi`s studio in Pretoria was established in 1983. She teaches printmaking, drawing and painting. It is frequented by people who are keen to learn new disciplines in art - working people, students, and established artists. Some students have established their own studios. Exhibitions have been held regularly, for instance at the Alliance Francaise de Pretoria, Pierneef Museum. Cafe Palette at the Pretoria Art Museum, Centurion Art Gallery and at Tait Gallery (the name of the studio which is in Tait Street, Pretoria).
Work by this artist has appeared in various publications, for instance Contrast, the literary magazine, Die Suid-Afrikaan, South African Graphic Arts and Techniques by F.L. Alexander. Reference: The Dictionary of South African Painters and Sculptors by G.Ogilvie. She has also written a handbook on different printmaking techniques.