Indianapolis, IN - Robert B. Tucker Jr. of Indianapolis, curator of collections for the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, suffered a heart attack and died Friday, June 16. He was 41.
Tucker joined the Eiteljorg Museum in 1991, less than two years after it opened. During his nine-year tenure, he helped shape the museum's collections, building on the legacy left by museum founder Harrison Eiteljorg.
"Bob was sensible, he was thorough, and he was completely professional," said Arnold Jolles, chief curatorial officer. He brought a level of professionalism to this organization that all of us tried to emulate."
Tucker was instrumental in forming the museum's Western Art Society this year, designed to increase public interest in Western art and to encourage collectors to contribute Western art to the Eiteljorg Museum. He successfully worked to bring an exhibition of works by Frederic Remington and Charles Russell to the Eiteljorg this fall and was developing a groundbreaking exhibition of the works of Howard Terpning for April 2001. Tucker also played a vital role in the museum's Eiteljorg Fellowship for Native American Fine Art, curated a number of important exhibitions, designed and maintained the museum's computerized registration system, and advised the museum on sensitive repatriation issues. In 1993, he was a contributing author to American Traditions: Art from the Collections of Culver Alumni.
Tucker was born October 29, 1958, in Cornwall, NY, the son of Robert B. Tucker Sr. and Louise Bontempo. He held a Masters degree in Museum Science from Texas Tech University and a Bachelor's degree in Anthropology from State University of New York College at Plattsburgh.
Survivors include his wife, Meg Gammage-Tucker, daughter Courtney Tucker; father Robert B. Tucker Sr. of New Windsor, NY; mother Louise Bontempo of Newburgh, NY; brother Timothy Tucker of Minneapolis; and grandfather, Gordon Tucker of New Windsor, NY.
A memorial service will be held at 5:30 PM at the Eiteljorg Museum, 500 W. Washington St., downtown Indianapolis, on June 26. Memorials may be made to the Eiteljorg Museum in his honor. Funeral services were held June 20 in New York