Born in Colorado in 1895, Mabel Lisle Ducasse studied art at Central Washington College, the Art Students League in New York, and the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Afterwards, she attended UW and received her BFA in 1923. In 1924 she received a Masters of Fine Art degree from UW – the first MFA degree ever granted in the U.S. While in Seattle, Ducasse’s paintings won numerous prizes in local juried art competitions. She moved to Providence, Rhode Island in 1926 when her husband took a position at Brown University, and she become a well-known artist, writer, and art critic in the New England area. She was particularly known for pastel portraits such as the one shown here, which can be seen in the Gates Center reception area.