All along the Champs Elysées you will find side roads named after well-known politicians and monarchs. Among them are Winston Churchill (whose street I wrote about earlier this month), Franklin D Roosevelt and King George V. But wander onto the gardens near the Petit Palais and you’ll see a street sign bearing a much less familiar name. Edward Tuck.
Edward Tuck was born in 1842 in Exeter, New Hampshire, in the United States. His father was Amos Tuck, founder of the Republican Party and good friend of President Lincoln. Edward was educated at Dartmouth College and worked as a banker for John Munroe & Co from 1866 in both Paris and New York and became a partner in the firm in 1971. 1889 he moved to France permanently with his wife, Julia (née Stell) of Philadelphia.
In 1890, President Lincoln appointed Edward as Vice Consul to France and so his life as an expat in Paris truly begun. He used his considerable wealth to collect art and donated generously to educational institutions on both sides of the Atlantic. Among his gifts to Dartmouth College were the President’s House, the Tuck School Buildings and various works of art. He also funded the American University Centre in Paris and the renovation of public monuments in Rome and Monte Carlo.
His largest gift was left upon his death when, in 1938 he passed away in Monte Carlo and bequeathed his entire collection of art to France. The value of the collection at the time was $5million.
To honour Tuck’s life and his generosity, the city of Paris has named one of the paths in the gardens around the Petit Palais, Avenue Edward Tuck. This is particularly fitting as the art he left behind is now housed in the Petit Palais’ collections.
Avenue Edward Tuck is shown on the map below.