Memphis Salutes Tunisia

Memphis in May salutes Tunisia, and the work of the late architect Jack Tucker is a strong connector between Memphis and our honored country. An exhibit of Tucker's drawings & photos will be on display during Memphis in May.

Jack Tucker’s Tunisia
The Timpani Building - 43 Union Avenue
Dates: May 17 through May 28
Times: M-Sat, 10am to 6pm; Sun 1PM to 6PM
Reception: Friday, May 21, 5 to 9:30 PM

The works reflect Tucker’s experiences in Tunisia while serving there in the Peace Corps in 1962. Troubled that the Tunisians were destroying centuries of history in the name of modernization, Jack met with civic leaders and convinced them to adopt a plan to restore crumbling buildings, converting them into museums, hotels, and tourist attractions. Among the first structures he rebuilt under the plan was the Mosque Maklouf in LeKef Tunisia.

Photos: Before and After

Tucker’s advocacy for preservation in Tunisia, later led him to champion the same cause in downtown Memphis.

Tucker, the favorite student, and later employee, of the famed E. Fay Jones (who was himself a favorite apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright), had trained as a modernist architect; his dedication to preservation, however, was never at odds with that training. Acknowledged as the “Father of Downtown Living,” Tucker blended modernism and the respect for history that grew out his encounters in Tunisia to design the first “as well as the most striking” examples of the adaptive re-use of existing structures in downtown Memphis, breathing new life into once derelict buildings and enriching the built environment of our city’s urban-core.