Skip to main content

Art and Art History Faculty

David L. Jacobs, Professor

Fine Arts Building, Room 104C
Email | 713-743-3005


BA, University of Cincinnati
MA, University of Texas, Austin
PhD, University of Texas, Austin

Biographical Summary

Dr. Jacobs came to the University of Houston after serving in tenured positions at Wayne State University and the University of Texas, Arlington. From 1990 to 1996 he chaired the UH Art Department. He served as the editor of exposure, the quarterly journal of the Society for Photographic Education, from 1984-88. He is the recipient of several awards, including a grant for critical writing in the arts from the National Endowment for the Arts, a grant for research from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and a Senior Fulbright Award for research in Chinese photography and teaching at National Taiwan University in Taipei (2003-04).

With Barbara Tannenbaum, Dr. Jacobs curated Ralph Eugene Meatyard: An American Visionary, an exhibition which traveled to six major museums in the early 1990s. The catalog (Rizzoli International, New York) for this exhibition included his essay "Seeing the Unseen, Saying the Unsayable: On Ralph Eugene Meatyard". More recently, he curated the first exhibition of graduate photography to be shown in the Peoples Republic of China at the Pingyao International Photography Festival in 2003, which included advanced student work from the University of Houston, the University of New Mexico, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has published dozens of essays, monographs, and reviews in Afterimage, exposure, New Art Examiner,The Archive, the History of Photography, Spot, and other periodicals. The forthcoming Encyclopedia of Nineteenth Century Photography(Routledge, Kegan Paul, 2007) will include his essays on O.G. Rejlander, John Thomson, and 19th c. Photographic Self-portraits. He recently published his first novel, Green Gator Blues (2006) and is currently making photographs after a hiatus of many years. His photographic work was included in a juried international exhibition of current and former Fulbright artists that was held in Marrakech, Morocco in November, 2006.