Beach Cat, 1981

Acrylic on Canvas

James Tucker


From 1959 – 1985, James Tucker served as the first full-time curator at the Weatherspoon Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). Gregory Ivy, founder of UNCG’s Art Department and Weatherspoon Art Museum, hired Tucker as the Curator of Collections. Tucker also taught art at the University while pursuing a personal career as an artist.

Beach Cat is one of Tucker’s later works, and it demonstrates his simple, colorful way of painting. In this piece, he silhouettes figures on the expansive Ocracoke, North Carolina landscape, typical of his paintings in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. In his earlier works, Tucker experimented with abstract expressionism and pointillism, a technique of painting using small dots of color.

Tucker exhibited his work throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s, winning numerous awards along the way. His curatorial work greatly contributed to the Weatherspoon Art Museum’s reputation as one of the leading venues for contemporary art in the Southeast.