Organized by the Ogden Museum of Southern Art (the Ogden), New Orleans, where it debuted in 2019, the exhibition coincides with Dusti Bongé, Art and Life: Biloxi, New Orleans, New York, a comprehensive, richly illustrated publication. The author, J. Richard Gruber, Ph.D., Director Emeritus of the Ogden, examines Bongé’s life and times and reveals how her practice and artistic vision evolved. Through in-depth research and insights, Gruber explores Bongé’s artistic output from a regional and national perspective within cultural contexts of 20th century American art and society.
Following an early career as an actor, Bongé was inspired by her husband, the artist Archie Bongé. Whereas Archie had been a student at New York’s Art Students League and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, among others, he recommended that she forego traditional academy-based classes and, instead, follow her own aesthetic instincts and explore her natural talent. Two years after returning to Biloxi from New York to raise their young son Lyle and set up a studio, Archie died prematurely in 1936. Dusti found solace in the studio and began painting in earnest, experimenting with a range of styles. The exhibition showcases the breadth of her artistic investigations and experiments spanning most of the 20th century.
Dusti Bongé, Art and Life: Biloxi, New Orleans, New York, is available in The Museum Store.
Piercing the Inner Wall: The Art of Dusti Bongé, a presentation in the Myra and Lynn Green Root Memorial Exhibition Series, is presented with support from the Dusti Bongé Art Foundation.