Bringing the Art to You


Week #14

Eunice Lyle standing in the right rear, possibly in Chicago, c 1923, photograph, Bongé Family Archives

As some of you may know, Dusti Bongé, started her artistic career as an actor, not a painter. Upon finishing a 4 year college degree in 2 1/2 years, Dusti, then still Eunice Lyle Swetman, moved to Chicago to study acting at the Lyceum Arts Conservatory. Chicago was known for its rich cultural scene with theaters, movie palaces, concert halls and jazz clubs, a perfect place for a young aspiring performer. While studying at the lyceum, Dusti appeared in small rolls on the stage, and then worked in the lyceum’s traveling circuit, performing in various towns all over the Midwest. Soon she would land a role in the very popular musical comedy called “Topsy and Eva,” a role that eventually led her to New York

It was in Chicago that Dusti first met Archie Bongé, who was studying art at the Arts Institute of Chicago. Around the same time that Dusti's pursuits led her to New York, Archie moved to Philadelphia to continue his studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. Eventually he too moved to New York, and it was then that they became a serious couple and married.

It was also in Chicago that Eunice Lyle first acquired the nickname “Dusty," stemming from the fact that everyday when she got home she felt it necessary to completely wash her face, as opposed to just freshening up. The reason, because she felt so dusty after a day out and about in Chicago. Although her stage name remained Eunice Lyle, once she started painting she started using her nickname to sign her work.

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

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