Maurice Tuchman (born November 30, 1936) is an American curator. He worked as the first curator of twentieth century art at Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), where he organized several exhibitions which were influential in the development of the Southern California art scene.
Early life and education
Maurice Tuchman was born in Jacksonville, Florida, though he was raised in a Jewish neighborhood of the Bronx. Tuchman attended the City University of New York as an undergraduate, and completed a PhD in Art History at Columbia University.
After graduation, Tuchman worked as a curator at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. In 1964, he became the first curator of twentieth century art at LACMA. During his tenure there, Tuchman organized several groundbreaking projects and exhibitions. Among his projects was LACMA's experimental Art and Technology program which supported and showcased emerging Light and Space artists such as Robert Irwin and James Turrell. His other notable exhibitions include The Spiritual in Art: Abstract Painting 1890–1985 (1986), and Outsider/Insider: A History of Visionary Art and Mondernism; the former was the first large-format show to include Swedish painter Hilma af Klint 42 years after her death.
In 1993, after having been the museum's senior curator for 20th-century art for 27 years, Tuchman filed a lawsuit against the museum's director Michael E. Shapiro and its trustees in Los Angeles County Superior Court, seeking damages and reinstatement in his job. Tuchman said he had been essentially demoted, with no warning, when a memo from Shapiro informed him that his job would be the newly created post of senior curator of 20th-century drawings. He was reinstated in an out-of-court settlement that same year and became senior curator emeritus in late 1994.
Along with fellow art historian Esti Dunow, Tuchman is co-author of the Chaim Soutine catalogue raisonné. Tuchman and Dunow also coordinated "The New Landscape/The New Still Life: Soutine and Modern Art” at Cheim & Read in New York in 2006 and "“Soutine/Bacon" at Helly Nahmad Gallery in New York in 2011.
Tuchman's work as a curator has, at times, come under criticism for under-representing the work of minority and women artists.
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- Getty Research Institute: Maurice Tuchman papers — Finding Aid.