Raymond Duncan (American, San Francisco, California 1874–1966 Cavalaire)
21 x 65 in. (53.3 x 165.1 cm)
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Peggy Zorach, 1984
Not on view
Raymond Duncan was born into a family established in the arts. The brother of the great dancer Isadora Duncan, he developed his own life philosophies based on his theory of movement. Traveling to Europe in 1898, Duncan became particularly fond of Greece. Meeting his wife Penelope there, they lived outside of Athens in a home decorated in a historic manner and dressed in classical Greek garb. Duncan was a skilled craftsman, working in ceramics, weaving and carpentry. After touring the United States in 1909, the couple returned to Paris to found a school, the Akademia, at 31 Rue de Seine, offering courses in dance, arts and crafts. Later, they opened a similar school in London. In addition to these pursuits, Duncan also wrote poetry, plays, and editorial promoting his philosophy of "actionalism."
A strong believer in labor and the developments of such hard work, it is quite fitting that the yarn of this stole was hand spun and loomed by Duncan. An interesting provenance, the donor of this piece was a descendant of Marguerite Zorach (1887-1968), a textile designer contemporary with Duncan.