ALICE SUMMER Le DUC

 

 

Click on an image for enlargement and more information

Alice Summer Le Duc (?? - 1962)

Alice Sumner Le Duc, the daughter of Civil War general, William Le Duc and his wife, Mary,  was raised in privileged circumstances at the family's estate in Hastings, Minnesota. 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 until 1958, when it was acquired by the Minnesota Historical Society.

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 17, 1962.