Date of Award

2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design

First Advisor

Linda Welters

Abstract

Raymond Duncan, born in San Francisco in 1874, led an intriguing life immersed in artistic and creative endeavors. At his art colonies located in France, he and his followers produced hand-painted silk textiles, garments, and sandals produced at the colonies that drew inspiration from Ancient Greece. Duncan also dressed in classical-inspired attire for sixty-two years. The goal of this study is to reveal Raymond Duncan, an overlooked early twentieth-century leader in artistic textile and garment design with an Ancient Greek aesthetic and his work, to scholars of design, textile and costume history. The two objectives of this research were to investigate Duncan's individual sartorial choice of chiton, himation, and sandals for nearly a lifetime and to interpret a selection of fourteen objects attributed to Raymond Duncan, particularly textiles and garments.

To accomplish my objectives, I examined sources such as photographs, printed materials, and all published works concerning textile design and lifestyle choices made by Duncan and his followers. I chose the artifact study operations of E. McClung Fleming as the analytical model for this research concerning the extant objects.

The textiles and garments attributed to the Akademia Duncan are fascinating representatives of an early communal lifestyle, where their designer, Raymond Duncan, sold his own brand of a romanticized Greek aesthetic to those visiting Paris. Duncan was not the first designer or artist to adapt a peculiar costume, but he may be one of the first to create a lifestyle, real or imagined, to surround his artwork and textiles during the twentieth century.

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