Biographical / Historical
"Heart & Hands: Musical Instrument Makers of America" was an exhibition of photographs by Jake Jacobson, circulated by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), from April 2000 to early 2004 to at least fourteen venues. The first site was April 8, 2000, at the Georgia Mountains History Museum, and the last venue for the show was the Elkhart County Historical Museum, Bristol, Indiana, ending April 6, 2004. Selections from the exhibition were on view from June 4 to 8, 2001, in the Rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building, and it was shown in the Smithsonian's Arts and Industries building, March 2-April 28, 2002.
The field work for the project was begun in 1996, culminating in 1998. "Traveling coast to coast, in an extensive two-year journey across the United States, Jake Jacobson and research collaborator Trisja Malisoff recorded the images, words, and music of over 300 contemporary musical instrument makers. Documenting the diversity of American music, Jacobson's photographs reveal a complex, living tradition-a heritage that draws upon Latin, Native American, European, African and Asian music influences."
Following this project, Jacobson engaged in a related photographic documentation, "Heart & Hands: Musical Instrument Makers of China." He has established a "Heart & Hands Foundation." Music has been an important part of Jacobson's life throughout his career as a photographer, printmaker, and jazz musician. During the mid-1960s he operated a backyard print shop, producing rock concert posters. As an advertising and editorial photographer, he pioneered new techniques for special effects and printmaking. His continuing passion for photographing musical artists is evident in the portraits in the "Heart & Hands" project.
A graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography, Jacobson has taught photography at UCLA and Cypress College in Orange County. A longtime practitioner and teacher of Yoga, he is the owner of the Center for Yoga in Los Angeles. He operated a "state-of-the-art" photography, printmaking, and video production studio, Northlight of Colorado, in the mountains near Telluride, Colorado, before relocating the Northlight Atelier to Santa Barbara, California, in 2003.
Another project of Jacobson's is entitled, "Oh, Baby--Celebrating Birth Rites around the World."