Francis Minturn "Duke" Sedgwick (1904 - 1967)


Santa Ynez Valley News, October 25, 1967

Francis M Sedwick (sic), 63, Dies'

Memorial Services Saturday

Memorial services for Francis Minturn Sedgwick, 63, world renowned artist and sculptor and owner of Rancho la Laguna de San Francisco, will be held at the Old Mission Santa Barbara at 3 p.m. this Saturday. He will be buried in Stockbridge, Mass.

Mr. Sedgwick died at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara Tuesday. He was known internationally for his sculptoring (sic) and was also a novelist, art collector, cattle rancher, and had a short career in international banking.

He and his wife were the recent donors of a 51 percent undivided interest in the 6,000 acre Rancho la Laguna to the University of California at Santa Barbara. The gift was said to be the most significant occurrence in the recent history of the campus

Born March 13, 1904, in New York City, he was the son of Henry Dwight Sedgwick, historian and author, and Sara May Minturn. He attended Tate (sic) School in Carpinteria, the Groton School in Mass., and was graduated from Harvard university in three years, class of 1926. He then went on to Trinity College at Cambridge, and Harvard Business School.

The Sedgwicks purchased the Corral de Quati ranch in the Valley in 1942, and later bought the Rancho la Laguna in 1952.

He is survived by his wife, Alice de Forest Sedgwick whom he married in 1929; and by five daughters and a son, Mrs Hellmut Wohl of Stockbridge, Mass., Mrs Jerome Dwight of San Francisco, Miss Catherine Sedgwick of the Valley, Miss Edith Sedgwick of New York City, Miss Susanna Sedgwick of the University of Bologna in Italy, and Jonathan de Forest Minturn Sedgwick of Santa Barbara."

Santa Barbara News Press, October 25, 1967 (Front page, portrait photo included)

Francis M. Sedgwick Dies;

Artist, Sculptor and Rancher

Francis Minturn (Duke) Sedgwick, 63, died at 7:10 p.m. yesterday in a local hospital.

A versatile man who had achieved wide recognition as a civic leader, sculptor, artist, novelist, art collector, university benefactor and cattle rancher, Sedgwick had been ill for some time.

Memorial services will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday in the Old Mission.

Born in New York on March 13, 1904, he was the son of the noted historian and author, Henry Dwight Sedgwick, and Sarah May Minturn. An uncle, Ellery Sedgwick, edited the Atlantic Monthly magazine from 1908 to 1938.

Sedgwick came to Santa Barbara in early infancy, laving with his family at the former Ewen MacVeagh home, 2565 Puesta del Sol Rd. in Mission Canyon, a landmark which was recently sold to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.

As a youth, Sedgwick attended Groton School in Massachusetts and Cate School in Carpinteria. He graduated in three years from Harvard University in 1926. During his collegiate years he acquired the nickname of "Duke" which followed him through adulthood. His talents in the fields of painting and sculpture were first revealed during his Harvard years.

After postgraduate work at Trinity College, Cambridge, in England, and the Harvard Business School, Sedgwick embarked on what he supposed would be a lifelong career in banking, his mentor being Clarence Dill, father of the undersecretary of state. He worked in banks in Berlin Paris, and London in the field of international finance.


After three years of banking, he returned to New York in 1932 to study painting under DeWitt Lochmann, who was president of the National Academy of Art at that time. subsequently Sedgwick went to Flushing, Long Island, to study sculpturing for five years in the studios of Hermon MacNeil, who executed the statue of Washington at the Washington monument and the heroic bas reliefs on the pediment of the Supreme Court Building.

Sedgwick was married in 1929 to Miss Alice de Forest, of a prominent New York family.

Just prior to World War II, Sedgwick purchased a 25 acre lemon ranch on Cathedral Oaks road near tucker's Grove in the Goleta Valley as a wartime home for his wife and children, who eventually numbered eight. He also bought the historic Corral de Quati ranch at the south end of Foxen Canyon in north central Santa Barbara County, one of the original land grants dating from Mexican times.

The Sedgwicks retained ownership of the Goleta Valley property until November 1957, when they sold it to Mrs Harriet F Saperstein. The corral de Quati Rancho was sold in part to Simon and Brown, operators of feed lots at Betteravia and Cuyama Valley and the remained to Harold H. Davis of Santa Barbara.

In July, 1952, the Sedgwicks purchased the 6,000 acre Rancho La Laguna from Evan S. :Pillsbury III. It was Sedgwick's home until the time of his death.


Duke Sedgwick was a working rancher as well as a professional sculptor. Working at studios on both his Goleta Valley and Laguna Rancho properties, he turned out sculpture commissioned by individuals, institutions and corporations all over the over the world.


Among his best-known works of art are the Laurel Hill Memorial monument in San Francisco; the Dumbarton Oaks "Pan"; the American Field Service monument in London; the equestrian statue at Earl Warren Showgrounds; Saint Barbara, in the patio of the Santa Barbara Historical Society Museum; busts of James Conant, former president of Harvard, Thomas M Storke, former University of California regent, Judge Learned Hand, and Robert Mc Clean, owner of newspapers in Philadelphia and Santa Barbara; the cowboy bas relief in the corridor of the Hollister building; St. Francis, at the convent of Christ the King, Sycamore Canyon; the Pioneer Monument and Robert Frost memorial, San Francisco; the conquistador at Cabrillo Senior High School in Lompoc and many others in Massachusetts, England and France. He had lately been commissioned to do a statue of St. Ignatius Loyola.

One of his proudest achievements was his bust of Clark Kerr, former president of UC. Not yet cast, although completed before his death, was a bust of Samuel b. Mosher, a member of the UC Regents.

Mr. Sedgwick's last public appearance was Aug. 10, for the unveiling of his life-size statue of St Francis, receiving the Stigmata, the first such sculpture ever placed in the cloistered patio of the Old Mission. It was his and his wife's gift memorialize two deceased sons, Robert Minturn and Francis Minturn Sedgwick.


Turning his hand to authorship, Mr. Sedgwick produced two novels, "The Rim," the story of a sculptor published in 1945, and "Power and Purity", the saga of an international banker, ;published in 1963. While each of these titles enjoyed some success, the author admitted that literature was not his forte, although he enjoyed it more, the said, than either sculpturing or painting.

An art collector from early manhood, in 1960 he presented the Francis Minturn Sedgwick Collection of Renaissance and baroque old master paintings to the University of California at Santa Barbara. He had started this collection of 20 canvases, by French, Italian, Dutch, Flemish and German artists, at the age of 25.

In addition to his art collection, the "rancher-artist" while serving as vice chairman of the UCSB Art Affiliates, was instrumental in acquiring for UCSB the fabulous Morgenroth Collection of 178 medals and 258 plaquettes dating from the 15th and 18th centuries.


On April 3, 1967, Mr. Sedgwick, together with Prime Minster Lester Pearson of Canada and Prime Minister Hashim Maiwandwal of Afghanistan, received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from UCSB, during the 99th charter anniversary observances.

While no intellectual snob, Mr. Sedgwick deplored modern "pop art", "Junkyard sculpture" and psychedelic faddism. He credited the development of photography for the decline in the art of painting and criticized art museum directors for neglecting to distinguish, for the public, art which was fine from art which was bogus.

His interest covered the full spectrum of music, the arts and education and was keenest in the field of civic affairs. At the time of his death he was a member of the board of trustees of Reed College in Portland Oregon. He was also a director ????(illegible copy)??????era Assn., appointed to the California Arts Commission, a director of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and a life member of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. He was a past president of the board of trustees of Cate School, a former board ember of the Santa Barbara Symphony Assn., former secretary-treasurer of the Santa Barbara County Farm Bureau, and past president of the Citizens Planning Assn. of Santa Barbara.

He was a member of the Somerset Club of Boston, the Knickerbocker, Century, River and Harvard Clubs, all of New York; and the university Club of San Francisco.


In late June of this year, Mr. Sedgwick and his wife made the largest single private gift in the history of the University of California at Santa Barbara, when the deeded a 51 per cent undivided interest in their La Laguna ranch to the UC Board of Regents.

In his letter of June 9, 1967, offering the property to the University Regents, he wrote: "Feeling a deep affection for the land we live on, some 6,000 acres as varied and lovely as ever God created, and taking a profound interest in UCSB (about a half-hour's travel away) it has long been my wife's and my intention to unite these two under your management. Indeed, seven years ago in our wills we bequeathed the ranch to the University. Howeverwe now desire to give our land to the University so that the use thereof may begin immediately."

Eventually title to the entire ranch will be vested in the UC Regents.

Mr. Sedgwick had great dignity, but with it an easy friendliness and rapport with all ages. He had a ready story for all occasions, drawing frequently on his vast acquaintanceship with my eminent men. the ???illegible???? Sedgwick table, led by "Duke" was at once stimulating and witty, and he loved nothing better than to put his young friends on the spot--in a nice way--with a teasing and humorous quip.

Surviving in addition to his wife Alice are five daughters, Mrs Hellmut Wohl, Stockbridge, Mass.; Mrs Jerome R Dwight, San Francisco; Miss Katherine Sedgwick, Rancho La Laguna; Miss Edith Sedgwick, New York City; and Miss Susanna Sedgwick, now studying at the University of Bologna in Italy; and one son, Jonathan de Forest Minturn Sedgwick of Santa Barbara.

There will be a private interment.

Friends may remember the General Fund at the Cottage Hospital, 320 W. Pueblo St."