Eugénie Luce

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Eugénie Luce
Luce Ben Aben School of Arab Embroidery I, Algiers, Algeria.png
Luce Ben Aben School, circa 1899
Born 1804
Died 1882
Montrichard, France
Scientific career
Fields Education
Institutions Luce Ben Aben School (Luce's school for Muslim girls) in Algiers, Algeria

Eugénie Luce (1804-1882) was a French educator, who she founded the first French/Arab school for Muslim girls the Luce Ben Aben School in Algiers in 1845.


Eugénie Luce moved to Algiers in the 1830s, where she became a governess. She left behind her husband and family in France.[1]

Luce Ben Aben School[edit]

Eugénie Luce started the Luce Ben Aben School, in 1845.[2] It was the first Franco-Arab school for Muslim girls,[3] dispensing a European-style education. Girls learned French,Arabic, arithmetic, embroidery, geography and sewing. The school was funded by the French Algeria government until 1861, after which it became a trade school. They taught embroidery and other subjects in order to educate the girls in traditional Algerian crafts, at a time when these crafts were being replaced by machine-made imports.[4][5] These goods were exported throughout Algeria, as well as Europe and the United States.[2]

The school was forced to close on 1 January 1846 because of lack of financial support from the local French government. Eugénie went to Paris to ask for help from the central government, after having managed to get support for school, it was reopened in June 1846. In January 1847 the French government formally agreed to support the school.[6]

In 1858 she had over 120 pupils of different age groups. This school produced skilled embroideresses, who appeared in the London Exhibition of 1862, in the Algerian Pavilion of the 1893 World's Columbian Exhibition at Chicago.[7]

The school continued under Madame Luce’s daughter and later her granddaughter, Madame Luce Ben-Aben.

Later life[edit]

Luce would eventually return to Montrichard,[2] in France, where she died in 1882. After Luce died, her granddaughter Madame Ben-Aben continued to run the school until her own death in 1915.[4][8]


  1. ^ Rogers 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Rogers, Rebecca E. "Promoting the Welfare of Indigenous Women: Franco-Algerian Itineraries (1845-1915)". Workshop Papers. Berkshrie Conference of Women Historians. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  3. ^ Rogers, Rebecca (1 January 2012). "A l'école arabe de Mme Luce" [At the Arab school of Mrs. Luce]. L'Histoire (in French) (371): 52. Retrieved 13 December 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Luce Ben Aben School of Arab Embroidery I, Algiers, Algeria". World Digital Library. 1899. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  5. ^ "Luce Ben Aben School of Arab Embroidery II, Algiers, Algeria". World Digital Library. 1899. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Conybeare-Grezel, C (14 May 1981). "La scolarisation des filles musulmanes, une entreprise difficile" [The scolarization of muslim girls, a difficult enterprise]. L'Algérianiste (in French) (14). Retrieved 13 December 2013. 
Further reading

External links[edit]