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Raymond Duncan, Isadora's older brother* who first went to Athens, studied the dance forms of the Greek vases and sculptures, adapted them to his own modern dance form, and taught young Isadora how to dance, was probably the first of the 20th Century Savant Garde.

During the Occupation of Paris by the Vichy Government, Raymond and his family hid an untold number of Jewish children from the Nazis in their two buildings on the Left Bank. Ingeniously, he did so by dressing all of them in the same unisex homespun gowns, so it was virtually impossible to tell how many were boys and how many were girls. When the Nazis tried to take a periodic census, he declared himself an American Mormon,living in political exile with all his wives and children. In this way, the Paris Underground was able to use the Musee Raymond Duncan premises as an underground railway.

We all consider ourselves Raymond's children, but his biological daughter, Ligoa Duncan, hosted the Morpurgo-based Savant Garde Movement in New York City in the 1960's.There is too much history here and it will have to wait upon our being able to reorganize it. Due to escalating real estate in Paris, the Duncan Museum was closed by the authorities for building violations and had to be sold - and nearly all the magnificent artifacts that used to be there were tragically later destroyed in a New York City fire. Also pirated by greedy Parisian landlords was the famous Atelier of Natalie Clifford Barney ( and Search Natalie Clifford Barney), last link to the Stein-Toklas-Hemingway-Matisse-Picasso era.

Help us preserve whatever has not been either lost, stolen or burned.
Volunteers, preferably graduate student interns, are needed. Call Artemis Smith at 1(631)725-1414, Sag Harbor, New York, USA. Also go to our eBay Charities Page at where we are trying to raise millions to build a Museum and for the worldwide rescue of homeless artists. Raymond Duncan's life is presently also partially reviewed in Wikipedia at

The connection between 'The Savant Garde Movement' and the Duncan Family dates back to 1947 when the Morpurgo Family welcomed the Raymond Duncan Family to their soirees and exhibits in the USA. Later (in 1960) Annselm L.N.V. Morpurgo, also known in the arts as 'Artemis Smith' contacted Ligoa Duncan to situate performances of her plays at LIGOA DUNCAN GALLERIE DES ARTES on 82nd Street in New York City, concurrently with exhibits by her mother, Vilna Jorgen Morpurgo. See pictures below:

(NOTE:Vilna Jorgen Morpurgo modelled the painting 'PERE' in honor of, and in the image of Raymond Duncan)
The world premiere of ArtemisSmith's "Brother Thanatos" was originally scheduled to be performed at Ligoa Duncan's Gallery but had to be moved to The Community Church of New York when Buildings Inspectors interfered. For a free script of that play and a description of the performances, go to

Link to information about our 2016 Work-in-Progress

*Isadora used to refer to Raymond as "mon petit frere." This was an endearment, not a fact and Duncan historians
had best carefully compare dates to correct it.
More information on Ligoa Duncan is available from us at or by contacting her children
Doree Duncan Seligmann and Michel Duncan Merle at
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PLEASE NOTE:, a competent website compiled by an entirely separate promotional group showcasing only 'Outsider Art', has no direct connection to THE SAVANT GARDE INSTITUTE and its trademarked subsidiaries. We welcome their interest in our movement which is not strictly confined to 'Outsiders'.