As a graduate student studying art at Yale, Oscar Brousse Jacobson (1882–1966) pinned his career on the hopes of someday opening an art school in the American West. Jacobson was a Swedish immigrant, but he felt a deep connection to the West because he spent much of his youth on a ranch in Kansas and roamed the greater Southwest by horseback during the late 1800s. Jacobson believed that after he completed his graduate studies in New England, he would eventually return West. He planned to bring great works of art, produce his own paintings, instruct young artists, and foster art appreciation in the underrepresented region. With this dream in mind, he carved out a place for himself among other renowned American artists and art promoters.
Many of the choices he made in his life advanced this vision. He traveled throughout the United States and internationally, speaking with local residents and artists, forging connections that would prove useful later as director of an art school. As a cultural broker between the art world and the public, and especially between Indian artists and white consumers, Jacobson contributed most significantly to the enrichment of Oklahoma and the Southwest. His artistic legacy lives on—today and for future generations—through his advancement of Native American art and art history, public art murals across Oklahoma and Texas, and the University of Oklahoma’s Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art.
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Allbright, Anne, "Oscar Brousse Jacobson: The Life and Art of a Cosmopolitan Cultural Broker" (2017). History Theses and Dissertations. 3.
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