William "Jake" Jacobs

photo of william jacobs
Adjunct Professorial Lecturer of Exhibition Design
[email protected]


A native of Minnesota, Jake first earned an undergraduate degree in art history/studio arts from the University of Minnesota and pursued independent study in graphic design at the Statens Haandverks og Kunstindustri Skolen in Oslo, Norway before attending RISD. Since 1980, Jake has worked on major projects at the Smithsonian Institute and The Library of Congress.


Current Outside Position

In 2009, Jake was appointed the Chief of the Interpretive Programs Office at the Library of Congress. Working with a talented staff, Jake has led IPO in the development of more than thirty-five new exhibitions and their education-related programming. Projects have ranged from the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta to the Gateway to Knowledge mobile display. As the Library’s loan officer, Jake oversees the outgoing loan program to cultural institutions worldwide.


Publications / Major Projects

Since 1980, Jake has worked as an exhibition designer and program manager for the Smithsonian Institution and The Library of Congress. At the Smithsonian, he designed installations ranging from small traveling exhibitions to major permanent galleries, visitor centers, and new museum facilities. His largest project was serving as the lead exhibition designer and space planner for the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a 250,000 square foot museum located near Dulles International Airport. During his 28 year career at SI, Jake also designed several major exhibitions including the controversial Enola Gay - a lesson in flexibility, diplomacy, and patience.



BA in Art History & Studio Arts, University of Minnesota
Bachelor of Architecture, Rhode Island School of Design
MA in Industrial Design, Rhode Island School of Design