ALICE SUMMER Le DUC
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Alice Summer Le Duc (1868 - 1962)
Alice Sumner Le Duc was born in Hastings, Minnesota on February 18, 1868. As the daughter of Civil War general, William Le Duc and his wife, Mary, Alice was raised in privileged circumstances at the family's estate in Hastings. Except for a brief attendance at an unspecified art school in St. Paul in 1897, she never formally studied art, but developed her own style of Impressionist painting, choosing to depict mainly her family members and local scenery.
After her mother died in 1904, Alice Le Duc served as an aide to her father, accompanying him on business trips and handling his correspondence. After the war, General Le Duc was appointed U.S. Commissioner of Agriculture by President Rutherford Hayes. A project of Le Duc was promoting American-grown teas, and he provided seeds and plants to southern plantations.
Le Duc also designed embroidery patterns for her two older sisters' business, Hastings Needlework, run from the family home. The business, operated by Florence and Minnie Le Duc, with their sister Alice providing fabric design assistance, was quite successful and, having earned money from that as well as inheritance, Alice Le Duc was able to purchase a home in Minneapolis, which became the primary home of the entire family with the Hastings home used in the summers.
Le Duc never exhibited her paintings or entered them in competitions, perhaps due to the belief that it was not considered proper for a woman of her social standing to participate in the activities of a professional artist. Her family became very prominent, and the Le Duc Estate in Hastings is now owned by the Minnesota Historical Society.
Alice Sumner De Luc died at her home in Minneapolis on December 27, 1962.