Artist Vinnie Bagwell of Yonkers, NY was selected to sculpt a realistic bronze of Richard Tucker for the Richard A. Tucker Memorial Library in Norfolk, Virginia. The life-sized, free-standing bronze sculpture honors Richard A. Tucker’s legacy as Norfolk’s first African American principal.
Bas-relief details highlight the rich culture and history of the Campostella community and the people who live, work and contribute to its continued legacy! The artwork addresses history and the untold stories of the past while pointing to the future. Campostella has embraced STEM ideas in their schools and in this new library. The 8ft. realistic bronze sculpture is mounted upon a black granite pedestal and finished with Vinnie’s signature polished black patina.
The Richard A. Tucker Memorial Library opened in September 2021. It is the newest library location for the Norfolk Public Library system. The branch is named after Richard Allen Tucker, the former rector of the Cumberland Street School, the first school built by Norfolk Public Schools for African American students. In 1943, the Richard A. Tucker Tucker School was opened on the land where Richard A. Tucker Memorial Library sits. The school closed in 2011.
Richard A. Tucker
Richard Allen Tucker was born in Norfolk City, Virginia, in February 1850. He attended Howard University for training in Theology. In 1876, Norfolk Public Schools (NPS) hired Tucker as a school teacher, and in 1888, he became rector (principal) of the Cumberland Street School (renamed the S.C. Armstrong School), the first African American school built by NPS. The school was later renamed the Tucker School. He married Josephine Spooner in 1874, and their union produced twelve children.
Listen to one of Vinnie’s videos on her YouTube channel