Steamboat Paintings by Robert Rucker, page 1


Robert Rucker's "Ghostly Steamboat."

ruckers ghostly steamboat

Model for ghostly Steamboat Ouachita illustration.


Steamboat Ouachita in a moonlit night landscape.


The steamboat pushing barges is the same one that Robert Rucker painted a "haunted" sternwheeler of and we paired up with a photo from the La Crosse collection.

I scanned this from a postcard in my collection that was dated 25 December 1906 on the front, no post mark so it must've been enclosed in an envelope when it was sent.

Information on verso:

Raphael Tuck & Sons' postcard Series No. 23709 "In the Land of Cotton." ART PUBLISHERS TO THEIR MAJESTIES THE KING AND QUEEN.

Jim Hale's notes on the boat on the postcard from Illustrations 11:


Attached scan of a print of an impressionistic Robert Rucker New Orleans riverscape with the QUEEN CITY and other steamboats.

The smoke from the stacks and the French Market possess a watercolor translucence to them while the steamboats have a more opaque appearance and the St. Louis Cathedral in has a pastel quality to it.


Robert Rucker Steamboat DAN WILEY in Bayou

Haven't found an actual steamboat named DAN WILEY yet . . . maybe Rucker named it after a friend of his. This looks like the boat is traversing a bayou. One of Rucker's most charming paintings. The color enhancement from what was a predominantly warm tone is a result of a Photoshop protocol.


This painting Robert Rucker apparently based on one of the publicity stills from the 1927 silent film of UNCLE TOM's CABIN in which the KATE ADAMS was renamed "La Belle Riviere" by the art director which was the fictional name boat that Harriet Beecher Stowe created for an important sequence in her 1852 novel.

Rucker's paintings of the America and Little Ouachita now appear on a page dedicated to Captain Cooley, at this site.*

rucker steamboat

Robert Rucker painted this charming winter scene for sale.

"Call Gilley's at 225 922-9225 for a price quote."

Rucker's story is touching, he contracted polio as a teenager but was able to thrive as an artist.

Robert Rucker
1932 - 2001

Robert Rucker was a native of New Orleans, and he opened his own gallery in the French Quarter at the age of sixteen. Immediately, Rucker found himself surrounded by fine artists of the New Orleans area, like Knute Heldner and Clarence Millet, two of his earliest influences. At the age of seventeen, he developed polio, an event that led him to art.

Because of his illness, the Louisiana Department of Education funded his schooling at the John McCrady School of Fine Arts in New Orleans. Rucker studied under McCrady for the next five years, developing a style that would later become synonymous with New Orleans and the surrounding countryside of the Mississippi Delta.

Rucker's most famous subject is perhaps the steamboat. His love of them came from his family, having two grandfathers who were steamboat captains. He produced many variations on the theme during his career. He is also well known for various bayou scenes and the south Louisiana countryside, themes that he eventually began to render in an impressionistic style and often with pastel tones during the late 1970's and early 1980's.

Rucker held exhibits in Baton Rouge and New Orleans as well as Chicago, San Francisco, St. Louis and Cleveland. In addition to being an art teacher at his own gallery, he was a textile designer, an art teacher for the City of New Orleans and a medical artist for Tulane Medical School. Robert Rucker died of a heart attack in 2001.


Robert Rucker Original Oil Painting On Canvas Signed New Orleans Jazz Artwork

A thing of beauty is a joy forever? Robert Rucker Original Oil Painting On Canvas Signed New Orleans Jazz Artwork

$4,895.00 Offered for sale with the Submit Best Offer option and will likely sell before the listing ends.

Shipping: $58.95 Standard Shipping

Item location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

Ships to: Worldwide

"Original Jazz Music At Night", is an alluring depiction of New Orleans' People and Culture. The immaculately detailed artwork, saturated with vibrant color and intricate detail, is of impressive craftsmanship and size, measuring approximately 18" x 24" and 28" x 34" with the custom frame made specifically for this painting. It is being offered for sale with the Submit Best Offer option and therefore it will likely sell before the listing ends.

The steamboat S.S. BROWN was built in 1906 in Pittsburgh and taken to Memphis the same year and after that operated only in the South. Later was converted to the excursion boat MAJESTIC.

Way's Packet Directory Number 4900

Story of the BROWN with many pictures appears in the S & D REFLECTOR June 1972, pages 23 -32


With the exception of images credited to public institutions,
everything on this page is from a private collection.
Please contact for permission for commercial use.*

All captions provided by Dave Thomson, primary contributor and historian.