A Finding Aid to the Marcia Tucker papers,
1973-1994
, in the Archives of American Art
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.tuckmarc
Creators:
Tucker, Marcia
Dates:
1973-1994
Languages:
English
The records are in English.
Physical Description:
2.4 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of curator and museum director Marcia Tucker measure 2.4 linear feet and date from 1973-1994. The collection documents Tucker's tenure as the Director of the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York through artists' files, correspondence, project files, printed material, and photographs. The papers also reflect Tucker's activities as an advocate for women in the arts.

Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
The papers of curator and museum director Marcia Tucker measure 2.4 linear feet and date from 1973-1994. The collection documents Tucker's tenure as the Director of the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York through artists' files, correspondence, project files, printed material, and photographs. The papers also reflect Tucker's activities as an advocate for women in the arts.
Artists' files include correspondence, artists' statements, exhibition lists, press releases, printed material, and photographs of artwork. There is extensive correspondence with Richard M. Allen, James W. Johnson, Bruce Melamid, and Earl and Suzanne Staley.
Correspondence consists of a mix of professional and personal letters between Tucker and artists, business colleagues, and friends. Correspondence relating to the founding of the New Museum includes draft versions of the mission statement. Among the notable correspondents are: Louise Bourgeois, Joan Brown, Howardena Pindell, Markus Raetz, Joan Snyder, and Idelle Weber. Project files reflect Marcia Tucker's activities as an educator, writer, and advocate for women's role in the arts.
Photographs include an inscribed photograph to Marcia Tucker from Raymond Lark.

Arrangement note
Arrangement note
The collection is organized into 5 series. The papers are arranged by material type and chronologically thereafter.
  • Series 1: Artists' Files, 1976-1994 (Boxes 1-2; 1.3 linear feet)
  • Series 2: Correspondence, 1976-1994 (Box 2; 0.6 linear feet)
  • Series 3: Project Files, 1973-1990 (Boxes 2-3; 0.15 linear feet)
  • Series 4: Printed Material, 1984-1994 (Box 3; 0.15 linear feet)
  • Series 5: Photographs, 1985-1994 (Box 3: 0.2 linear feet)

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
Curator and museum director Marcia Tucker (1940-2006) lived and worked in New York.
In 1961, Marcia Tucker received her Bachelor of Arts from Connecticut College. She then went on to earn a Masters of Art from New York University's Institute of Fine Arts in 1965. In 1969, Tucker became curator of Painting and Sculpture at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Influenced by the political ferment of the 1960s, Marcia Tucker directed her curatorial efforts to organizing exhibitions that reflected the political and social currents of the day. An early exhibit that she co-curated with James Monte, "Anti-Illusion: Procedures/Materials," was one of the first major exhibitions dedicated to Process Art or Post Minimalism. She curated major surveys for the work of Lee Krasner, Joan Mitchell, Bruce Nauman, Richard Tuttle, and Jack Tworkov. Some of Marcia Tucker's curatorial choices were critically received by colleagues and others in the artistic community. In 1977, she left the Whitney Museum to take on the role of founding director at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York. At the time, the New Museum was one of the few experimental centers for contemporary and emerging artists working in graphic arts, video, and film, serving as a venue for artists outside the mainstream, gay artists, and members of radical Hispanic and feminist groups. During her tenure at the New Museum, Tucker directed a number of major exhibitions, such as "Bad Girls," 1994; "A Labor of Love," 1996; "The Times of Our Lives," 1999, among others.
Marcia Tucker's interests extended to writing and teaching. She was the series editor for the New Museum's Documentary Sources in Contemporary Art. Tucker was also a freelance art critic; her criticism appeared in such publications as Art in America, Artforum, and ArtNews. Tucker also taught and lectured at academic institutions and art schools, including the School of Visual Arts, Bard Center for Curatorial Studies, Cornell University, and Colgate University.
In 1999, Marcia Tucker left her post as Director of the New Museum, though she continued to be engaged in the contemporary art scene. In recognition of her innovative practices as a curator, Tucker received a number of awards, including the Skowhegan Governors Award for Lifetime Services to the Arts, 1988; Bard College Award for Curatorial Achievement and the Art Table Award for Distinguished Service to the Visual Arts, 2000. She was also the recipient of three Yaddo fellowships from 2003-2005.
In 2006, Tucker died in Santa Barbara, California. She is survived by her husband, Dean McNeill, an artist and their daughter, Ruby Tucker.

Administration
Processing Information note
The collection was fully processed and a finding aid prepared by Joy Weiner in 2007.
Author
Joy Weiner
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
The collection was donated by Marcia Tucker to the Archives of American Art in 2000.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation note
Marcia Tucker papers, 1973-1994. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Conditions Governing Access note
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Conditions Governing Use note
The Marcia Tucker papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.

Related Archival Materials note
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Marcia Tucker conducted by Paul Cummings, August 11-September 8, 1978.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Museum directors -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women museum curators -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Melamid, Bruce Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Johnson, James W. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Brown, Joan, 1938-1990 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bourgeois, Louise, 1911-2010 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Allen, Richard, 1945- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Weber, Idelle, 1932- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Staley, Earl, 1938- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Staley, Suzanne Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ratz, Markus Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Snyder, Joan, 1940- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York, N.Y.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pindell, Howardena, 1943- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/