One of Gregor Duncan's greatest strengths as an artist was his ability to capture movement and life. In the manner of his favorite artists, Rembrandt, Goya, and Daumier, Duncan could sum up scenes in quick and lively sketches. He would travel around the city with his pen, litho crayon, and ink, drawing and sketching on the back of old checks or shirt cardboard from his favorite Chinese laundry in the Village, in New York City. Duncan frequented the Cafe Society jazz club, Stillman's Gym, and many other venues, capturing the life of the city in his sketches.

 

 


A powerful pen and dry brush ink drawing of a football player being tackled.  Titled 
A wonderfully expressive ink and watercolor drawing, most likely from Stillman's Gym in New York City.  Late 1930s.A pen & ink drawing of a mother and child, drawn in Chinatown in the 1930s.  This lively sketch captures of the essence of Duncan's work.
An ink and watercolor drawing from a burlesque performance in New Jersey.  Late 1930s.A nice motion study of a golfer taking a swing. Pen & brush & ink. Circa 1930.
Duncan's poster design for the same track and field championships held at Kezar Stadium in 1932.  Collection of Michael Mattis.

Pen and brush sketch titled, I love this little pen & ink sketch. So much with so little. Circa 1930.Beautiful figure work in this undated charcoal drawing of two boxers.  Collection of Jack Howe.
A dynamic charcoal drawing of three football players, possibly done for the Call-Bulletin.  1930.
A charcoal and ink wash drawing of a burlesque dancer, from a venue in New Jersey that Duncan liked to attend.  Late 1930s.Ink and watercolor drawing of a newspaper seller in New York City.  1930s.So much packed into such a little package. This small ink drawing captures two wrestlers in the ring as they prowl around each other. Lovely figure and pen work. Circa 1930.Two pencil and ink wash drawings of two figures.  Appears to be Duncan working out the scene.  Collection of Jack Howe.
More rough sketches of boxers from the gym.  Collection of Jack Howe.Gregor Duncan was at his finest with these on-the-spot sketches, and this is a great example of the energy he could capture in a quick watercolor study. The piece has a Percy Crosby feel to it. Circa 1930.Litho crayon drawing of a basketball player, done for the Call-Bulletin.  Circa 1930.I imagine that this was a study that Duncan drew at a gym. He used to love to hang out at the famous Stillman's Gym in NYC. The fluidity of the line work and figure work is just wonderful in this piece. Circa 1930.
1931 Portrait and studies of boxer Jack Dempsey, most likely done for the Call-Bulletin.  Charcoal and ink.
A 1930 charcoal drawing of a boxer down on the canvas.  Collection of Jack Howe.
Charcoal or litho crayon drawing of a man drinking.  1932.A sweet little ink & watercolor sketch of a boxer who has had better days. Circa 1930.
Charcoal portrait of playright and novelist Thornton Wilder.  January 14, 1930.Litho crayon portait of an older man, 1932.Ink portrait of English playright Noel Coward, subtitled 
A boxer at rest.  Probaby drawn in Conte Crayon.  Collection of Jack Howe.
A wonderfully spare charcoal drawing of a football player, either receiving or kicking the ball.  1930s.Duncan drew this wonderful program for the Charcoal sketches of boxers from the gym.  Collection of Jack Howe.
Ink and watercolor sketch of a dancing couple.  Undated.A 1936 portrait of cartoonist and book illustrator Syd Hoff, who also painted murals on the walls of the Cafe Society jazz club.  A quick brush and ink study by Duncan, circa 1930. Such fluid lines.A small pen & brush & ink study of two golfers in the clubhouse, circa 1930.he audience is none to happy to see these boxers in the clutch. Lovely pen & ink & watercolor work by the great Gregor Duncan. Circa 1930Lovely body language in this small pen & ink sketch, as a golfer watches and waits. Circa 1930.
Ink sketch of a violinist, with a brief profile head sketch.  Undated.