The youngest of three daughters, Anne (also cited as Anna and Annie) Catherine Kuck was born in Savannah, Georgia, to Henry Kuck and Mary Geshe Entleman. Her father, a German immigrant who became a successful grocer and beverage bottler, died when Anne was just a year old. As a young girl in the Savannah school system, Kuck demonstrated a talent for the arts, especially drawing and painting, skills that led her to Paris in 1905 for advanced education.

During her decade’s residency in Europe, Kuck studied for eight years at Paris’ prestigious Sorbonne and traveled across France, Germany, and Switzerland. She painted constantly during this period, but rarely titled or signed her work, which consisted primarily of portraits of friends and their children, flower studies, and still lifes. In 1911, the ever-modest Kuck submitted a series of watercolors to the 1911 Spring Salon at the Louvre, winning a silver prize. With the exception of these award-winning watercolors and a few miniature portraits on ivory, Kuck worked almost exclusively in oil on canvas.

After the United States entered World War I, Anne Kuck returned to the Savannah area, settling in a log cabin on Wilmington Island. In her new home on the Half Moon River, Kuck was inspired by the sun-filled coastal landscape, local history, and rich Gullah culture. Paintings from this time reveal a brighter palette and looser brushwork, marked deviations from the academic formality of her Parisian training. These characteristics can be seen in The Dance, with its bold swaths of color and energetic, twirling bodies that fill the composition to the edges of the seven-foot canvas.

Eventually, the heat and humidity of the coast became unbearable, and Kuck relocated to Hendersonville, North Carolina. Her artistic activity slowed, consisting primarily of still lifes, mountain landscapes, and family portraits. Kuck spent the final fifteen years of her life in her hometown of Savannah, where she died on February 24, 1965, at the age of eighty. Her tombstone in historic Bonaventure Cemetery is engraved with an artist’s palette.