The University Museums is pleased to announce the funding and naming of the entrance gallery for the soon-to-be renovated Brunnier Art Museum. The Lori A. Jacobson Gallery of the Brunnier Art Museum is named in honor of Lori Ann Jacobson (1958-2018). Jacobson grew up in Roland, Iowa, graduated from Roland Story High School in 1976, and went on to complete two degrees from Iowa State University, a B.S. in History and B.A. in Advertising Design.

This special announcement of funding to the project was made by Jason Kogan, Jacobson’s husband, during a friends and family celebration of Lori’s life and impact on the arts on campus on Friday, June 1.

“The University Museums played such an important role in Lori’s career – working at the Museums as an undergraduate opened her eyes to the museum field that became her life’s work and over the years she engaged in projects for the betterment of the Museums and ISU – that I believe the best way to honor Lori’s legacy is to make this gift to the Museums.” – Jason Kogan, June 2018

As a student at Iowa State in the late 1970s, Jacobson was not thinking about a career in museum management. When Jacobson learned of the Brunnier Art Museum’s existence, she was intrigued. Once she met Lynette Pohlman, she was hooked. Pohlman (BA ’72, MA ’76 in applied art) – the longtime director and chief curator of University Museums – hired Jacobson to help install and catalog collections for the Brunnier. Jacobson immediately knew she was in the right place.

“The first day I showed up at the Brunnier and worked with other students installing a permanent collection of glass, I was in awe and smitten,” she said. “I had no idea that the profession existed. From day one, I knew I was on my path.”

Accomplished in project management, planning, exhibit development, education and interpretation, Jacobson worked for the McAllen International Museum in McAllen, Texas, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She was also the Executive Director for the Western Museums Association. Then as a consultant she led many cultural institutions through the development of exhibition and interpretive master plans, program needs assessments, and exhibition design and fabrication. She was committed to creating engaging and memorable experiences for learners of all ages.

Over several decades Jacobson provided numerous professional and personal contributions for the betterment of Iowa State University and the University Museums including project management of the landmark Campus Beautiful publication, strategic planning for the Christian Petersen Art Museum in Morrill Hall, conducting student engagement research, creating the WOW Wall in the Office of Admission’s Soults Family Visitor Center, Memorial Union and establishing a mentor program at the University Museums.

In 2017, Jacobson was selected as a notable alumnus of Iowa State University. Her portrait, which was commissioned by Iowa State, is included in the Faces of Iowa State portraits in the University Museums’ Art on Campus Collection.

University Museums and the family of Lori Jacobson are delighted that Lori’s museum legacy can live on through the Lori A. Jacobson Gallery of the Brunnier Art Museum.

It is anticipated that the Museum will reopen to the public in mid-September 2019, marking the beginning of the 45th anniversary year of the opening of the Brunnier Art Museum.
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