With guest speaker Dr. Dianne Jacobsen

Paintings and Sculptures from the
DeMell Jacobsen Collection

Lecture and Reception: Thursday, March 21, 2024 | 6 – 8:00 PM

6 PM lecture  in the Great Hall

7 PM – 8 PM reception in the Richard & Roper Room

Thomas Cole (English-American, 1801–48). The Arch of Nero, 1846, oil on canvas. Courtesy of the Thomas H. and Diane DeMell Jacobsen PhD Foundation.
Robert Henri (American, 1865-1929). Chow Choy, 1913, oil on canvas. Courtesy of the Thomas H. and Diane DeMell Jacobsen PhD Foundation.
Mary Cassatt (American, 1844-1926). Baby Charles Looking Over His Mother’s Shoulder (No. 3), 1900, oil on canvas. Courtesy of the Thomas H. and Diane DeMell Jacobsen PhD Foundation.

American Made surveys two centuries of American creativity. The exhibition begins with Colonial-era portraits by masters, such as Benjamin West, Thomas Sully, and Sarah Miriam Peale, and then moves on to highlight the development of mid-19th-century landscape painting. Viewers will discover works depicting the United States from coast to coast by artists, including Thomas Cole, Asher B. Durand, Jasper Francis Copsey, and even a monumental arctic scene by William Bradford.

In addition to landscape paintings, the exhibition includes still lives and genre scenes — two other types of paintings that became popular in the 19th century. Charming and moralizing genre scenes, often packed with fascinating narrative detail, include masterpieces by Elizabeth Jane Gardner Bouguereau, Seymour Guy, and Daniel Huntington. The American experience in Europe is also represented, as many artists from this country traveled abroad to seek training and patronage in the decades leading up to the 20th century. Striking canvases by Childe Hassam, Mary Cassatt, John Singer Sargent, and their fellow overseas travelers, will be included in the exhibition.

American Made was curated by Todd Herman, PhD, President and CEO of The Mint Museum; Kevin Sharp, Director of the Dixon Gallery and Gardens; and Jonathan Stuhlman, PhD, Senior Curator of American Art at The Mint Museum; with contributions by William Keyse Rudolph, PhD, Deputy Director, Curatorial Affairs at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Photography for the catalogue, American Made: Paintings and Sculpture from the DeMell Jacobsen Collection, generously funded by the Elizabeth Huth Coates Charitable Foundation of 1992.

The national tour of American Made is made possible by Bonhams, Christie’s, Doyle, Heather James Fine Art, Schoelkopf Gallery, and Sotheby’s.

About Dr. Jacobsen:

Diane Jacobsen Alumnus of Washington University in her home in New York on July 25,2012.


Diane DeMell Jacobsen, M.A., Ph.D., is a remarkable individual with a diverse range of accomplishments and contributions in various fields. She has established herself as a successful business executive, an international affairs scholar, and a passionate advocate for the arts.

Starting her career after graduating with a B.A. in Mathematics in 1965, Dr. Jacobsen joined IBM and quickly progressed through a series of senior executive management positions. Her expertise and leadership skills allowed her to excel in the corporate world. In 1986, she relocated to Jacksonville, Florida, where she became a prominent figure in the healthcare industry, eventually serving as President and CEO of an insurance company.

However, Dr. Jacobsen’s interests extended beyond the business realm. With a desire to make a positive impact in the field of international affairs, she pursued further education at Washington University in St. Louis. Here, she earned two master’s degrees and a doctorate in international affairs. Driven by her passion, she played a pivotal role in creating the International Leadership Program, which is now known as the Global Studies Program.

Accompanying this exhibition is a beautifully illustrated catalogue, published in 2022, that delves into the historical, cultural, social, economic, and technological context in which each chair was created. This scholarly book, titled “The Art of Seating: 200 Years of American Design,” has been nominated for the prestigious Horowitz Book Prize, further exemplifying the excellence and significance of the collection.

Another noteworthy exhibition organized by the Thomas H. and Diane DeMell Jacobsen Ph.D. Foundation is “American Made: Paintings and Sculpture from the DeMell Jacobsen Collection.” This exhibition, which debuted at The Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2022, celebrates the foundation’s collection of American fine art. Displaying 105 works of art, the exhibition encompasses various genres, including portraiture, landscapes, still lifes, genre scenes, modernism, abstraction, and sculpture. The exhibition is accompanied by a comprehensive catalogue featuring over 220 works of art, as well as informative essays on art conservation and framing. Renowned scholars have also contributed two- to four-minute videos that provide valuable insights and interpretations of more than 60 works of art on display.

The DeMell Jacobsen Collection is widely recognized as one of the top privately held collections of American art in the world. Dr. Jonathan Stuhlman, Senior Curator of American Art at The Mint Museum, praises the collection for its exceptional quality and significance. The “American Made” exhibition has also garnered high praise, with Zak Ozmo of the Daily Memphian describing it as “a gift not to be missed.”


Dr. Jacobsen is an accomplished individual whose remarkable achievements span various domains. From her successful career in business and executive management to her contributions in international affairs and advocacy for the arts, she has made a significant impact on society. Through her leadership of the Thomas H. and Diane DeMell Jacobsen Ph.D. Foundation, she continues to promote and preserve American art, creating opportunities for people to appreciate and engage with artistic masterpieces. Dr. Jacobsen’s dedication and passion serve as an inspiration to others, reflecting the profound impact that one individual can have on the world.