Van Duzee was born on September 18, 1874, in Dubuque, Iowa, where she
spent most of her life except while attending school. She studied at
Boston and Ipswich, Massachusetts, Ogunquit, Maine, and Saugatuck,
Michigan. She worked with Grant Wood in Stone City, where she won
the admiration of Midwestern artists such as Grant Wood, Thomas Hart
Benton, and Francis Chapin. Van Duzee is most honored and best
known as the Foundress of the Dubuque Boys Club, which she helped
organize in 1900. She served as the Director and trustee of the
organization from 1900 to 1915.
Duzee also founded the Dubuque Art Association in 1910 and became the
group’s first secretary, and served in that role until 1952. Van
Duzee’s art includes charcoal drawings, pencil sketches, oils and
watercolor paintings. Van Duzee never exhibited her artwork outside
of Iowa, however her friends in the art world have made her better
known to gallery goers. Van Duzee rarely worked in color and when
she did it was in muted tones. The greatest quality of her work is
her self-effacing honesty and realism.
Duzee passed away at the age of 87 at Bethany Home in Dubuque.
Please enjoy the collection of Van Duzee’s artwork featuring local
Dubuque scenes that is now hanging in the Aigler Auditorium on the
Third Floor of the Carnegie-Stout Public Library. You may also
purchase notecard sets or 8 x 10 prints of the copper plate etchings
owned by the Library.
View some Kate Van Duzee Work