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College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Heuer's Artistic Journey in Crafting the Jacobsen Collection Catalogue

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Learn about Dr. Elizabeth Heuer's journey of meticulously curating and chronicling over 200 works in the monumental "American Made: Paintings and Sculpture from the DeMell Jacobsen Collection" catalogue.

In 2011, Dr. Diane DeMell Jacobsen founded the Thomas H. and Diane DeMell Jacobsen Ph.D. Foundation, an organization whose mission is to obtain masterpieces of American art and conduct scholarly research on these works. The Jacobsen Collection of American art, an awe-inspiring treasure trove, currently boasts close to 400 pieces of American painting, sculpture, works on paper, and decorative arts, encompassing over 200 years of captivating art history. Its reputation resonates nationally, celebrated for its sheer breadth and unparalleled quality. The Jacobsen Collection is more than just a static archive; it breathes life into the artistic heritage of America through its lending collection. With works showcased in traveling exhibitions and on long-term loan, over seventy-five museums across the country have had the privilege of hosting these remarkable pieces, allowing diverse audiences to connect with the soul of American art.

Among those fortunate enough to join Dr. Jacobsen on this artistic journey was Associate Professor of Art and Design, Dr. Elizabeth Heuer. Their paths intertwined over a decade ago when Dr. Jacobsen audited Dr. Heuer’s art history course. Impressed by her knowledge and passion, Jacobsen extended an invitation to Dr. Heuer to become a crucial part of her collection endeavor. Assisting her during auctions and contributing to in-depth research, Dr. Heuer's dedication and expertise became invaluable.

In recognition of her remarkable insight, Dr. Heuer was entrusted with a monumental task - to create a comprehensive catalogue for the Jacobsen Collection. This ambitious project, titled "American Made: Paintings and Sculpture from the DeMell Jacobsen Collection," commenced during her 2019-2020 sabbatical. Published in October 2022 by D. Giles Limited, London, the 400-page book chronicles the artistic journey of America over nearly two centuries. Featuring over 200 works from the Jacobsen Collection, the catalogue provides an enlightening exploration into the cultural, social, and political contexts in which American art flourished. Individual object essays offer a fresh and authoritative analysis of each masterpiece, shedding light on the renowned artists' contributions while unearthing hidden gems from lesser-known artists.

The fall 2022 release was accompanied by the opening of the Jacobsen Collection of American Art exhibition. The Mint Museum in Charlotte was the first to host this extraordinary exhibit, followed by the Dixon Gallery in Memphis, and later arriving at the Cummer Museum. From there, the journey continues, with planned stops at the San Antonio Museum of Art and the Huntsville Museum in Alabama.

For art enthusiasts and history buffs alike, the "American Made" exhibition is an experience like no other. Displaying over 100 artworks sourced exclusively from the prestigious DeMell Jacobsen Collection, this groundbreaking showcase is the first of its kind. Some of these cherished pieces have graced the halls of esteemed museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Now, they come together for an all-encompassing journey through the captivating history of American art, spanning from the Colonial era to around 1950.

But the journey doesn't end there. Dr. Heuer continues her own exploration and research, delving into post-war American iron casting and community-based projects. She pays tribute to the late Jacksonville artist, Lee Adams, and his botanical prints, weaving together the threads of art, culture, and history with unyielding passion.

To embark on your own artistic voyage through the "American Made" exhibition, visit the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens here in Jacksonville, Florida, where these masterpieces will be on view until September 24, 2023. And for those who wish to hold this profound journey in their hands, the "American Made: Paintings and Sculpture from the DeMell Jacobsen Collection" catalogue can be acquired at the Cummer Museum shop or purchased here:

Photo Credit: Felicia Bass