Bringing the Art to You


Week #20

Eunice Lyle Swetman High School Graduation, photograph, 1919. Bongé Family Archives

Since high school graduations are in the air everywhere, today we are sharing with you a photo of Dusti Bongé when she graduated from high school. Here she is in her spectacular outfit crowned by a magnificent hat, with her diploma and large bouquet of congratulatory flowers in hand.  

Dusti Bongé, back then still Eunice Lyle Swetman, graduated from high school in her hometown of Biloxi over a 100 years ago, in 1919, at the young age of 16. An intelligent and driven young woman, she subsequently attended college at a very proper small southern institution called Blue Mountain College in Northwest Mississippi. This was a place where distractions were hard to come by and hence completing coursework was more easily accomplished.

But Dusti did more than that, she speedily finished her four year degree in the time span of 2 1/2 years (including summers). She had an agreement with her parents that upon completing a four year college degree, she would be allowed to pursue her dream of becoming an actor. Majoring in “Expression & Physical Culture”, by 1922 Dusti was free to do as she wanted, and she moved to Chicago to attend the Lyceum Arts Conservatory.

So here we have a portrait of one very determined young woman who would go on to achieve great things. And you have got to love that hat!

Here is to all the graduates out there, may they too achieve great things.

Have you seen this work?

Do you or someone you know have this work in their collection? If so, we would love to hear from you.

We are continuously working to maintain as complete a record as possible, and to determine the location of all of Dusti Bongé's work. If you have any information on this work, you can contact us at [email protected]

We also appreciate receiving referrals to the existence and whereabouts of artworks by Dusti Bongé. Thank you.


Available in our store:



The definitive volume on artist Dusti Bongé, by J. Richard Gruber

Dusti Bongé, Art and Life: Biloxi, New Orleans, New York

Hard bound, 12” x 9”, 350 pages, over 500 color and b&w illustrations

Limited edition lithographs of two original

Dusti Bongé drawings. 

Shrimp Boats & Factories, Back Bay Biloxi I


Shrimp Boats & Factories, Back Bay Biloxi II

​12” x 16” drawing,  15” x 22” paper size

support us

Our mission: to promote the artistic legacy of Dusti Bongé (1903-1993)