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Jacque B. Jacobsen Papers

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Jacobsen

Scope and Content of the Collection

Artwork, correspondence, family papers, printed ephemera, scrapbooks and photographs, (including slides and negatives), and a wallet.

Artwork includes doodles, sketches and a painting. Correspondence includes letters between the Jacobsens and friends and family. Condolences for Mollie Jacobsen’s death, Jacque Jacobsen’s death and letters from Felicia Terry to Jacobsen comprise the majority of the correspondence. There are also World War II letters with doodles from Joseph “Slug” Dresmal to his sister Ann “Butch” Dresmal. Both family papers include birth, death, marriage and divorce records and newspaper clippings relating to both the Dresmal and Jacobsen families. There are announcements for Jacobsen’s exhibitions during the early 1950s as well as other various printed materials. The scrapbooks are from the Heda/Dresmal side of the family. The photographs consist of prints, negatives and slides of Jacobsen, Dresmal, family, friends and other identified people. Vintage wedding photos and portraits were of interest and seem to have been collected. A wallet contains Anna Dresmal's social security card, family snapshots, and saints medallions.


  • Creation: approximately 1900s-1980s



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Jacque B. Jacobsen Papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Conditions Governing Audiovisual Access

Audiovisual recordings in this collection have not been digitized and are unavailable for use at this time.

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Jacque B. Jacobsen Papers are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

Biography of Jacque B. Jacobsen

American photographer and painter.

Jacque B. Jacobsen, was born on August 20, 1907, in Chicago, to of Ira Olaf Lew Jacobsen and Mollie Jacobsen, neé Rosalack. His parents were “show people,” who divorced in 1920, two years after Ira left his family. Jacobsen was raised by his mother and the two remained close until her death in 1962.

From 1938-1940, Jacobsen was one of the photographers employed as part of the WPA’s Illinois Art Project. In particular, Jacobsen captured scenes of Chicago for the “Moods of Chicago” exhibit. He continued to work at odd jobs and free-lanced as an artist and photographer before being employed as a medical photographer by the Chicago Office of Venereal Disease Control ca. 1946-1951. In addition to his photography work, Jacobsen was an amateur painter. He had a few exhibitions in Chicago in the early 1950s. Among the galleries he showed at were: Hotel Sherman’s Well of the Sea Gallery; Benedict Gallery at Hull House; Riccardo Restaurant Gallery; and Studio M.

In 1936, Jacobsen married Ann Dresmal, the daughter of John Dresmal and Anna Dresmal, neé Heda. Ann, nicknamed Butch, appears to have been close to her brother Joseph, nicknamed Slug, who served in the navy during World War II. The couple did not have any children. Jacobsen died in 1967, at the age of 60 while Dresmal died at the age of 90 in 2004.


2.8 Linear Feet (4 boxes and 1 oversize box)


Photographs, slides, correspondence, family papers, and printed ephemera from Jacque B. Jacobsen, his wife Ann Dresmal, and other family members. Jacobsen was a Chicago painter and photographer active from the late 1930s to the early 1950s.


Arranged alphabetically by type of material. Photographs are arranged with art and art-related images first, then photos of Ann and Jacque, followed by friends and family. Unidentified and miscellaneous photographs are last. The oversize box contains oversized artwork, photographs, and a life insurance policy, in addition to the wallet, and unidentified film and audio reels.

Collection Stack Location

1 37 4-5


Gift, Dallas Smith, ca. 2005.

Separated Material

18 boxes of color slides, 13 negatives, and 11 prints of medical patients taken by Jacobsen during his work for the Chicago Office of Venereal Disease Control were removed from the collection and sent to the image library of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, GA in August, 2014.

Processed by

Eileen Truong, 2014.

Inventory of the Jacque B. Jacobsen Papers, approximately 1900s-1980s
Eileen Truong
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States