#FridayPainting: John Duncan Fergusson “In the Patio: Margaret Morris”

They were an artistic power couple.

“In the Patio: Margaret Morris” captures the remarkable story of Margaret Morris, artist and influential innovator in modern dance and her partner, Scottish Colourist, John Duncan Fergusson.

In the Patio: Margaret Morris by John Duncan Fergusson (National Galleries Scotland

I have read that Margaret founded the Margaret Morris Movement, Celtic Ballet, and two Scottish National Ballets in Glasgow (1947) and in Pitlochry (1960). She also created a system of movement notation, which was first published in 1928.

For more information on Margaret Morris and to view her paintings, head over to the ArtUK. For her thoughts on Dance, head over to the Margaret Morris Movement website.

‘Scottish Colourist’ John Duncan Fergusson is recognised as one of the most influential Scottish painters of the 20th century. Mostly self-taught, he moved to Paris in 1907, where he became a member of the Parisian art circles to which artists such as Matisse and Picasso also belonged. The outbreak of the First World War forced him to return to Britain, and by 1918 he was an established member of the art scene in Chelsea, London. In 1929 he went back to Paris for a further eleven years before moving to Glasgow, where he lived until his death. Like his friend S J Peploe, Fergusson’s early work was influenced by that of Whistler and the Glasgow Boys, but in France he came across Fauvism and adopted a similar style, using pure, bright colours and bold, rhythmic contours. National Galleries Scotland

For more information on John Duncan Fergusson and to view his paintings, head over to the National Galleries Scotland.

Published by Rebecca Budd

Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner

16 thoughts on “#FridayPainting: John Duncan Fergusson “In the Patio: Margaret Morris”

  1. Fabulous! Margret is beautiful! The painting is sumptuous. Their story is inspiring.
    Thank you, Rebecca, for this wonderful article and the way you look at the arts through history.
    Enjoyed the video, big time! Her dances reminded me of Isadora Duncan, and then later Martha Graham. {{hugs}}

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What I loved about the Margaret/John duo is that they chose to be creative, to collaborate and learn from each other, to connect and build creative and empowered communities. They lived boldly and with enthusiasm. I am glad that you mentioned Martha Graham along with Isadora Duncan.

      One of my favourite Martha Graham quotes, which always gives me goosebumps is:

      “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.”
      Martha Graham


    1. A very good question. I understand that (according to Wikipedia), in 1909, Margaret Morris met Raymond Duncan, the brother of Isadora Duncan. Raymond taught Margaret the six Classical Greek dance positions which she adapted and used them as the basis of her own system movement. I am reminded that we are all connected, that creativity flows through our lives, that what was created at one point, moves forward, long after the creator has passed.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I agree! A demonstration that we can be influence by others even though we will never meet or long after they have passed. What I think Margaret added was her writing on theory: breathing, teaching, painting, design and sculpture, and the list goes on. Duncan is known as “The Mother of Dance” and her legacy is prodigious. Regrettably, a tragic end brought an end too soon.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks for the comment, Colleen. What I found most interesting is how colour, movement, words, music are all connected. Creativity flows through us and when we join forces, the outcome of our efforts are spectacular. It gives me great comfort.

      Liked by 1 person

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