MIA Curator Bob Jacobsen resigns


Bob Jacobsen in Guizhou Province, China, in April of 2008. Photo by Dan Dennehy.

After sheparding the MIA’s Asian Art collection into national prominence over the course of 33 years, curator Bob Jacobsen is resigning his post.

Jacobsen, who started at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in 1977 as its first curator of Asian Art, is recognized in particular for his work partnering with philanthropists Ruth and Bruce Dayton to expand the museum’s Chinese galleries.

In an internal memo, MIA Director Kaywin Feldman wrote “Bob departs the MIA having established a lasting legacy through the museum’s renowned collections, several scholarly publications, and the installation of two unique Chinese period rooms.”

Jacobsen’s last day is April 30. In honor of his contributions to the museum, Feldman has named him “curator emeritus.” Jacobsen plans to continue working on an occasional basis – including writing about the MIA’s collection – and so the departure is considered a resignation, not a retirement.