Director tapped for Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement

Kevin Tucker is director of the upcoming Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement.
Kevin Tucker is director of the upcoming Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement.
Published July 24 2015
Updated July 24 2015

ST. PETERSBURG — The planned $70 million Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement already has a collection, will soon have a completed parking garage and now is expecting the arrival of its first director.

Kevin Tucker, senior curator of decorative art and design at the Dallas Museum of Art, has been hired as the museum's director.

"When considering this most important position, I couldn't think of a more qualified, capable and knowledgeable museum professional to lead this effort," said Rudy Ciccarello, a retired businessman who owns the collection and is building the museum to house it. "His understanding of the Arts and Crafts Movement, the objects and the artists who created them, is exemplary and is based on his 25 years of experience working in the decorative arts field."

Tucker's resume is impressive. He joined the Dallas museum, a major national institution, in 2003, charged with oversight of its distinguished decorative arts collection. He organized numerous exhibitions there including the acclaimed "Gustav Stickley and the American Arts and Crafts Movement," which toured nationally, and wrote essays for its scholarly catalog.

Before Dallas, he served as chief curator and deputy director at the Columbia Museum of Art in South Carolina and was a curator at the Telfair Museum of Art in Savannah. He has served on boards for the American Alliance of Museums (formerly American Association of Museums) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

At the Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement, he will be in charge of a collection considered to be one of the finest of its kind with art, furniture, decorative and architectural objects, even entire rooms, from the early 20th century design movement.

The museum, which will be built on a 3.5-acre site at Fourth Avenue N between Third and Fourth streets, will have 110,000 square feet of space, the largest in the Tampa Bay area. Construction for it is scheduled to begin as soon as the garage is completed, sometime in late 2015 or early 2016, with an opening planned for summer 2017.

Tucker could not be reached for comment but Ciccarello said that a contract has been signed and he'll begin his new job at the end of August.

Contact Lennie Bennett at lbennett@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8293.

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