Allen Tucker 1866-1939

A Winter Pool

  • 25 x 30 inches (63.5 x 76.2 cm)
  • Oil on canvas
  • Signed lower right: A Tucker
  • c. 1912

Why We Love It

Tucker was heavily influenced by Impressionism, as this winter scene clearly demonstrates. Executed in a soft almost monochromatic palette of icy blues, this painting especially shows the tremendous impact that John Twachtman had on Tucker’s work during this period. This quiet landscape of a clear winter day would be a beautiful addition to any collection of American Impressionism.

The Value

A Winter Pool presents new and seasoned collectors alike with an opportunity to own a lovely American Impressionist painting at an affordable price. The undeniable influence of Twachtman adds to its visual appeal.

Artist Background

1866: Born in Brooklyn, New York; 1888: Graduated as an architect from the School of Mines of Columbia University with a Bachelor of Philosophy Degree; 1890: Studied at the Art Students League under John Henry Twachtman; 1893: Elected as a member of the Art Students League; 1895-1904: Worked as a partner in an architectural firm; 1904: Resigned from the firm and turned to painting full time; 1908: Exhibition with Henri, Luks, Sloan and others at the Whitney Studio Gallery; 1913: Was responsible for the catalog of the Armory Show and six of his works were included in that important exhibition; 1917: Represented in the Inaugural Exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists; 1918: First comprehensive one-man exhibit at the Whitney Studio Club; 1919: Publication of his first volume of poems “There and Here”; 1921-1926: Taught at the Art Students League; 1923: Had a one-man show at Durand-Ruel Galleries; 1924: Had a one-man show at the Syracuse Museum of Art, the Art Students League and Montross Gallery; 1925: Had a one-man show at the Whitney Studio Club; 1926, 1928-1930: Had one-man shows at Rehn Galleries; 1930: Series of lectures published under the title “Design and the Idea”; 1931: Had a one man show at the Century Association; the Whitney Museum published a monograph on the artist in its American Artists Series; 1939: Died in New York City.

Despite the fact that Allen Tucker’s artistic style defies easy categorization, A Winter Pool most certainly falls into the period when the artist was most influenced by Impressionism.  In his seminal survey American Impressionism, William Gerdts hailed Tucker as “Vincent in America,” indicating the profound influence Vincent van Gogh had on the artist’s paintings; however, A Winter Pool speaks more to the effect John Twachtman’s had on Tucker.  The soft, almost monochromatic palette of the painting, the quiet, contemplative subject, and the deft brushwork all demonstrate the influence of Twachtman’s style.  Indeed, Tucker studied with Twachtman at the Art Students League in New York, while he was simultaneously working as an architectural draftsman at his father’s firm.  It wasn’t until he was thirty-eight years old did he forgo his career as an architect entirely and focus on painting full time.

In his impressionist paintings, such as A Winter Pool, Tucker’s command of draftmanship is notable.  He carefully arranges the composition, paying particular attention to the forms and recession of space.  Yet the loose brushwork and abstraction of the landscape into bands of muted color seems to indicate that already Tucker had grown interested in the growing trend toward Modernism.  In 1911 he became a charter member of the Association of American Painters and Sculptors, which would conceive and plan the 1913 Armory Show.  Tucker was instrumental in organizing that landmark exhibition, in which the American public was introduced to European modernism on a grand scale for the first time.  Six years later in 1919, Tucker helped found the Society of Independent Artists, which would rebel against traditionalism.