Mary Duke as Young Girl, 1895, Oil on canvas, 33" x 59," by Norval H. Busey
Mary Lillian Duke, born in 1887, was the daughter of Benjamin and Sarah Duke. She later became Mary Duke Biddle. Mary Duke graduated from Trinity College in 1907 and beginning in the early 1920s, she and her brother, Angier, began making significant contributions to Trinity College. In 1938, Biddle provided funding for the Sarah P. Duke Gardens (a memorial to her mother). For more information on the Gardens, see a "Brief History of the Sarah P. Duke Gardens." After World War II, she gave a gift of $1.5 million for the expansion of the West Campus Library (Perkins Library). In 1960, this portrait was transferred with three other Duke family portraits from Four Acres, Benjamin N. Duke's home in Durham. Young Mary Duke's portrait hangs on the wall directly across from the Public Services Desk in Lilly's Main Lobby.
Norval H. Busey was born in 1845, in Christiansburg, Virginia. He studied painting with Bouguereau in Paris. Around 1871 he became a member of the Salmagundi Club in New York, an early important art club that held regular exhibitions and formed a collection. The club's influence waned by the 1940s. Busey also painted portraits of Benjamin N. Duke, Mrs. Benjamin N. Duke, and Master Angier B. Duke which hang in Lilly Library's Main Lobby, and The Reapers, which hangs in the south foyer on the second floor.
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