The Dusti Bongé Art Foundation

The Dusti Bongé Art Foundation (DBAF) was established in 1995 in Biloxi, Mississippi, when a group of devotees of the artist Dusti Bongé formed an organization to honor and promote her extensive and impressive oeuvre.   

Dusti Bongé (1903-1993), nee Eunice Lyle Swetman, was an Abstract Expressionist painter who lived in Biloxi, Mississippi, and worked from the 1930s through the early 1990s. She is considered Mississippi’s first Modernist artist.


The mission of the Dusti Bongé Art Foundation is to promote the artistic legacy of Dusti Bongé, Mississippi’s first Abstract Expressionist painter, through exhibition, conservation, scholarship, and education.

The Foundation focuses especially on the promotion of Bongé’s work, not only within Mississippi, but also nationally and internationally.  Globally, Abstract Expressionism has become widely admired as one of the most significant art movements in American art history.  Started in New York by American painters such as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning in the 1940s and 1950s, the movement has earned its place in the canons of major worldwide art movements. 

Though Dusti Bongé exhibited in the Betty Parsons Gallery in New York (one of the most prestigious galleries in the city at that time) from the 1940s through the 1970s, her work has been insufficiently recognized as an important contribution to Abstract Expressionism.  The DBAF believes that Bongé should be recognized for her exemplary contributions to this art movement and thus that Dusti Bongé should be included in the canons of major Abstract Expressionist painters.

Of course, the Foundation also places a high priority on arts education & appreciation for all ages.  With our gallery in the beautifully restored historic “Creole Cottage”, in downtown Biloxi, we are able to share Bongé’s work with the public.  Rotating exhibits  in the gallery show the evolution of her oeuvre over the course of her fifty-plus year career as an artist.  We invite you to visit us whenever you are on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

The DBAF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing public awareness of, and access to, the beautiful collection of works Bongé left as her legacy.