Robert Rucker was born in New Orleans, La., and lived most of his life there. The son of a Mississippi River steamboat captain became best known for paintings of Louisiana scenes, which have been admired for their atmospheric beauty as well as their historical accuracy. His favorite subjects included the bayous, plantation homes and the grand steamboats.
Historically, Rucker is the successor in a line of great Louisiana landscape painters that includes Richard Clague (1821-1873), William Henry Buck (1840-1888), Marshall J. Smith (1854-1923), Alexander Drysdale ( 1870-1934), Knute Heldner (1875-1952). At age 16, he opened his own gallery in the French Quarter. Just a few years later he was stricken with polio but in recognition of his great artistic promise the state funded his education at the John McCrady School of Fine Arts in New Orleans. He then went on to teach painting in his own studio, designed textiles, and worked as a medical artist at Tulane University School of Medicine.
Notably, Rucker was given a solo exhibition at the New Orleans Museum of Art; and in 1996 won the Louisiana Legends Award. His works can be found in museums throughout Louisiana and the South.