Nickolas Murray: Portrait of Anna Duncan, Dancer (vintage photograph, 1931)
8×10″ portrait of dancer Anna Duncan is in fine condition, an exceptional print on slightly glossy and textured paper. Stamped Nickolas Murray credit and date July-1931 on reverse, there is also a news announcement glued to back: “Anna Duncan Dancing as the Stadium Concerts of July 16 and 17”.
Anna Duncan, nee Denzler, was one of the six adoptive daughters of dancing legend Isadora Duncan. She seems to have been a very pretty girl who felt compelled to leave the Duncan entourage in 1921 because she and Isadora were both in love with Isadora’s pianist, Walter Rummel.
Although her independent performing career initially included original works, Anna vowed after Isadora died in 1927 to devote the rest of her life to teaching and performing only Isadora’s dances. A dead end was the result. Eventually she had to resign herself to working as a saleslady.
Her final years were spent in the Jewish Home for the Aging Blind in Yonkers, New York. Kathleen Quinlan, a third-generation Duncan devotee, visited her regularly and inherited her memorabilia. Quinlan has given this collection to the Stockholm Dance Museum. Anna Duncan: In the Footsteps of Isadora is the souvenir book published in connection with a recent exhibit of the Anna Duncan material.” — Dance Magazine 1996