Duncan Ferguson (January 1, 1901 – April 29, 1974) was an American sculptor and political activist.
His father, John Calvin Ferguson (1866–1945) had taken a degree in theology from Boston University before he went to China in 1887 on behalf of the Methodist Episcopal Church to establish the University of Nanking and became its first president. John Calvin Ferguson became an expert on Chinese art, and the owner and publisher of two Shanghai newspapers, Sin Wan Pao and The Shanghai Times, while his career extended into the area of Chinese government service. From 1907 Ferguson and his seven siblings divided their time between China and Newton, Massachusetts. Duncan Ferguson was educated at colleges in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. He did some studies in economics and English literature at Harvard University.
Ferguson left Brown University where he had received a teaching appointment in the English Department and instead took a position in Harvard‘s Fine Arts Department. Around this time Ferguson married Mary Manley; they separated in 1926, and later divorced.
Following a psychological crisis (in 1924 he attempted suicide and was hospitalized; in his later life he sometimes would exhibit suicidal behaviour and threaten suicide) he eventually became established as a sculptor of distinction, creating a large number of works of sculpture always remarkable for their classical serenity and great individuality. He settled in New York and his works were displayed at the Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum, among other venues. In 1929, a one-man art show at Halpert’s Downtown Gallery marked the zenith of his New York period.
In 1931 he married his second wife, Alice Decker; this marriage, however, ended when she left him in 1936. In the mid-1930s, he began an academic career joining Louisiana State University, becoming instructor first, then assistant professor (sculpture, wood carving, stone cutting). At that time he also received a series of commissions occupying him with architectural sculpture such as reliefs.