Mary Jane Jacob
Professor and Executive Director of Exhibitions, The School of the Art Institute Chicago
Mary Jane Jacob is a curator who holds the position of Professor and Executive Director of Exhibitions and Exhibition Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
As chief curator of the Museums of Contemporary Art in Chicago and Los Angeles, she staged some of the first US shows of American and European artists. Then, shifting her workplace from the museum to the street, she critically engaged the discourse around public space with such landmark site-specific and community-based programs as “Culture in Action” in Chicago, and “Conversations at The Castle” during the Atlanta Olympics, and “Places with a Past” for the Spoleto Festival USA, which launched two decades of public engagement in Charleston, South Carolina.
More recently her programs have led to co-edited anthologies: Buddha Mind in Contemporary Art, Learning Mind: Experience into Art, The Studio Reader: On the Space of Artists, and Chicago Makes Modern: How Creative Minds Changed Society.
At the 2010 College Art Association Conference Jacob was awarded the Women’s Caucus for Art Lifetime Achievement Award and Public Art Dialogue’s Lifetime Award for Achievement in the Field of Public Art; in 2011 she was honored by the women’s leadership organization ArtTable as one of the key influential women in the field of visual arts in the United States.