Anne Wilkes Tucker
Life and work
Tucker was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She received a B.A. in Art History from Randolph Macon Woman's College in Lynchburg, Virginia in 1967, and an A.A.S in photographic illustration from Rochester Institute of Technology in 1968. In 1972, she earned a Master of Fine Arts in Photographic History from the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York, studying under Nathan Lyons and Beaumont Newhall.
While in graduate school, she worked as a research assistant at the George Eastman House in Rochester; as a research associate at the Gernsheim Collection at the University of Texas, Austin; and as a curatorial intern in the photography department of the Museum of Modern Art, New York with a grant from the New York State Council for the Arts.
Tucker began working for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) in 1976, when it possessed virtually no photographs. In February of that year, Target Stores made its first donation to MFAH to begin the Target Collection of American Photography. The MFAH Photography department was established in December, when Tucker was hired as a consultant to act as curator of photography. In 1978, she became the MFAH curator, and in 1984 she was named the Gus and Lyndall Wortham Curator of Photography. She has increased the museum's holdings of photographs to over 24,000 in 2008.
Tucker organized more than forty exhibitions for the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and elsewhere, including retrospectives for Brassaï, Robert Frank, Louis Faurer, George Krause, Ray Metzker, and Richard Misrach; as well as surveys on Czech avant-garde photography, a survey of the history of Japanese photography, and a selection from the Allan Chasanoff Collection.
Many of her exhibitions led to the publication of catalogues and books of photographs. Her book The Woman's Eye includes the work of ten women photographers: Gertrude Käsebier, Frances Benjamin Johnston, Margaret Bourke-White, Dorothea Lange, Berenice Abbott, Barbara Morgan, Diane Arbus, Alisa Wells, Judy Dater and Bea Nettles. Tucker states, "The Woman's Eye represents the first major attempt to bring together notable photographs by women and to consider, through them, the role played by sexual identity both in the creation and the evaluation of photographic art." In a 2003 interview with Texas Monthly Magazine she comments: "When I wrote The Woman's Eye in 1973, very few women photographers were accepted in the elite of the field. That is no longer true. Photography has also had many important women as photo historians and curators. Nancy Newhall, Alison Gernsheim, Gisèle Freund, and Grace Mayer were some of the important early women historians. I knew Nancy Newhall and Grace Mayer and admired both very much."
Tucker retired from the Museum of Fine Arts Houston in June 2015.
- The Woman's Eye (1973).
- Unknown Territory: Photographs by Ray K. Metzker. Houston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1984. ISBN 978-0890900338. Photographs by Ray Metzker. Accompanies an exhibition.
- Robert Frank: New York to Nova Scotia (1986).
- Brassaï: the eye of Paris (1999).
- This was the Photo League: compassion and the camera from the Depression to the Cold War (2001).
- Louis Faurer (2002).
- Target III, in sequence: photographic sequences from the Target Collection of American Photography (1982).
- Chaotic Harmony Contemporary Korean Photography (2009).
- War/Photography: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2012. ISBN 978-0300177381. Edited by Tucker and Will Michels with Natalie Zelt.
- George Krause: a Retrospective. Houston, TX: Rice University Press, 1991. ISBN 978-0892633098. Photographs by George Krause. Edited by Tucker.
- 1983: Guggenheim Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
- 2001: "America's Best Curator" by Time.
- 2005: International Award from the Photographic Society of Japan.
- 2006: Focus Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Griffin Museum of Photography.
- Alumnae Achievement award from Randolph Macon Women's College.
- Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
- Fellowship from the Getty Center.
- Fellowship from the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin.
- Fellowship from the Dora Maar House, Ménerbes, France.
- Voted one of the top fifty most influential people in America by American Photo magazine.
- 2013: Special jury recognition, PhotoBook of the Year, Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards for War/Photography: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath.
- 2013 Best Photography Book, Kraszna-Krausz Awards for War/Photography: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath.
- 2019: Award for Curatorship and Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society, Bristol.
- "MFAH celebrates Anne Tucker's career". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-04-26.
- Potted biography within list of judges of Rencontres d'Arles, 2007 Archived 2007-11-20 at the Wayback Machine, popphoto.com, 7 January 2007. Accessed 22 March 2009.
- Potted biography within Fotofest 2008 Reviewers Archived 2018-10-01 at the Wayback Machine", fotofest.org. Accessed 14 May 2009.
- Kathryn T. Jones, "Biographical or Historical Note", within "Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Curatorial department RG04:06 Records, photography subgroup 1976-1998. A Guide to the photography subgroup records of the curatorial department, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in the Archives of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Archived July 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine", MFAH, 7 April 2008. Accessed 14 May 2009.
- Interview, Texas Monthly Magazine. Accessed 14 May 2009.
- Wang, Annie. "Anne Wilkes Tucker, MFAH Curator of Photography to Retire". Art in America. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
- Hartocollis, Anemona (6 March 1974). "The Woman's Eye (review)". The Harvard Crimson.
- "Anne Wilkes Tucker". John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Retrieved 27 December 2014.
- "[permanent dead link]", Houston Center for Photography. Accessed 14 May 2009.
- List of past winners, PSJ. (in Japanese) Accessed 22 March 2009.
- "Photographic Society of Japan Awards". Photographic Society of Japan. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
- "Past Programs Archived 2008-08-28 at the Wayback Machine", Griffin Museum. Accessed 14 May 2009.
- "Announcing the Winners of The Paris Photo—Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards 2013", Aperture Foundation. Accessed 30 October 2015.
- Risch, Conor (15 November 2014). "Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Award Winners Announced". Photo District News. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
- "Past Photography Winners". Kraszna-Krausz Foundation. Archived from the original on 25 October 2015. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
- "2013 Kraszna-Krausz Book". World Press Photo. 27 March 2013. Archived from the original on 17 June 2015. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
- "Royal Photographic Society announces its 2019 award winners". British Journal of Photography. 9 September 2019. Retrieved 2019-12-17.