Tooker, a native New Yorker (born 1920) who lives in Vermont, is a recipient of the National Medal of the Arts. He is noted, at least in part, for having worked exclusively with egg tempera paint. Tooker's works addressed many of the social questions of the second half of the 20th century.
In an article on the exhibit at America, Karen Sue Smith states, "Deeply spiritual and therefore attuned to social injustice and destructive societal trends, Tooker painted his most provocative works as protests against racism, alienation, government surveillance of citizens and homophobia."
Some of the works in the exhibit included:
Government Bureau, 1956
Father and Child, 2000
Embrace of Peace, 1986 (The museum's description of this painting noted that it at least partly reflects the "kiss of peace" during the Mass prior to Communion. Tooker became a Catholic in 1976.)
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After completing our tour of the National Academy Museum, we walked south on Fifth Avenue to The Frick Collection at 70th Street. I don't think I had ever been inside it before. The number of major works in the collection was overwhelming. Naturally, as I toured the galleries, I kept in mind that the collection's founder was a son of Western Pennsylvania -- and that his great fortune stemmed from the region's Industrial-era coke and steel plants.