Allen Tucker (1866-1939) Untitled (portrait of a young woman), oil on canvas, 24 x 20 inches, signed and dated lower right “Allen Tucker, 1913”. Painting comes from a Ridgefield, CT private collection.
Allen Tucker was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1866 and graduated from the School of Mines of Columbia University in 1887 with a degree in architecture. While he worked as a draftsman he studied painting at the Art Students League of New York with Impressionist John Henry Twachtman. When he was 38 years old, Tucker became a full-time painter. By 1908, he was exhibiting with Robert Henri, George Luks, George Bellows and others. Tucker was so influenced by Vincent Van Gogh that he was called “Vincent in America” and “the American Van Gogh”.
In 1911 Tucker became a charter member of the Association of American Painters and Sculptors which staged the (now famous) 1913 Armory Show, credited with introducing modern European painting to the United States. During World War I, Tucker served in France in the American Ambulance Service before the United States entered the war, and later in an American Red Cross hospital in France. In 1918, Tucker had his first large one-man show at the Whitney Studio Club (later the Whitney Museum of American Art). In 1919 he helped found the Society of Independent Artists which rebelled against traditionalism. He taught at the Art Students League of New York from 1920 to 1928, first as an instructor of drawing and painting, and later as a lecturer on composition.
Tucker also wrote a book of verse “Here and There” (1919); a book of essays “Design and the Idea” (1930); and a monograph on “John Henry Twachtman” (1931).
His paintings are in the collections of many institutions including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, N.Y.; Art Institute of Chicago; Brooklyn Museum; Metropolitan Museum of Art, N.Y.; the Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.; Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, R.I.; Yale University Collection, New Haven, Conn.; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
Spanierman Gallery catalog (from 2010 New York City show) “Allen Tucker, The Force of Emotion– A Post-Impressionist Rediscovered” by Lisa Peters is included: