Memoirs

A Short Life of Trouble: Forty Years in the New York Art by Marcia Tucker

By Marcia Tucker

This engrossing memoir brings to shiny existence the behind-the-scenes struggles of Marcia Tucker, the 1st girl to be employed as a curator on the Whitney Museum of yank artwork and the founding father of the hot Museum of up to date paintings in manhattan urban. Tucker got here of age within the Sixties, and this lively account of her lifestyles attracts the reader without delay into the burgeoning feminist flow and the buzz of the hot York paintings international in the course of that point. Her personal new methods of considering led her to take principled stands that experience replaced the best way artwork museums reflect on modern artwork. As curator of portray and sculpture on the Whitney, she geared up significant exhibitions of the paintings of Lee Krasner, Joan Mitchell, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, and Richard Tuttle, between others. As founding father of the recent Museum of latest artwork, she geared up and curated groundbreaking exhibitions that frequently fascinated about the nexus of paintings and politics. The booklet highlights Tucker's dedication to forging a brand new procedure whilst the existing one proved too slim for her expansive imaginative and prescient.

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To our confusion, North Beach wasn’t on the water at all, but in the middle of the city. In fact, it looked a lot like the Village we had just left, except that it had steep hills, trolley cars, and pastel houses instead of brick tenements. We sat on the curb in front of their door, stunned. We had come three thousand miles only to find ourselves, more or less, back where we had started. Michael was the realist. “Don’t cry,” he said. “It’s bound to be different. We’ll stay awhile, get some money together, and then head for the ocean.

Michael, I discovered quickly, was shy. Because he was so quiet, when he told me anything about himself I felt privy to an inner life that I was sure no one else had access to. He was an aspiring musician, mostly guitar and some piano, but he said he didn’t like to play in public, which also meant in front of me. His sense of equanimity, though, clinched the deal. For Michael, the tiniest insect and the temples of Angkor Wat were equally wondrous. He gave everything his full attention, staring for hours at a time at the ocean, sitting perfectly still listening to the crickets on the lawn, reading a book with the concentration of a Zen master.

He confessed this to me on the way to his office one Sunday morning when I was fourteen years old, and he swore me to secrecy. But my relatives’ ability to get their own way was not to be underestimated, and I caved in without so much as a whimper. I was too tired to fight with anyone about anything. I knew that they were making me miserable and that I was making them miserable, too, in some way that they were not willing to tell me. It was incomprehensible to me to be without parents. I kept wondering who would be proud of me.

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