Esther Jacobson-Tepfer is the Kerns Professor Emeritus in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Oregon. She received her doctorate in Chinese art history from the University of Chicago, where she also did extensive study in the ancient traditions of India and Central Asia. During her years of graduate study, Jacobson-Tepfer began to explore the cultures of hunters and herders in ancient Siberia and Mongolia. Over the succeeding five decades, her intellectual inquiry took her deep into regions of North Asia then little-known in the West.
Jacobson-Tepfer has published more than ten books and many articles on the art and cultures of the ancient Altai Mountains. In 2016 the Mongolian President Elbegdorj awarded Jacobson-Tepfer the highest honor offered by the Mongolian Academy of Sciences, the Kublai Khan Gold Medal, for her research in that region and her assistance in the development of two Mongolian World Heritage sites.
Jacobson-Tepfer’s husband, Gary Tepfer, has been her project photographer and collaborator throughout the Altai years.

Titles by Esther Jacobson-Tepfer

  • Discoveries at the Boundary of Russia and Mongolia

    Released: January 2023

    Genre: Nonfiction

    Journey into Other Worlds: Discoveries at the Boundary of Russia and Mongolia is an account of author Esther Jacobson-Tepfer’s intellectual journey from a youthful fascination with Chinese landscape poetry to decades of study and field work in the Altai Mountains at the boundary between Russia and Mongolia.

    In the process of their inquiry, the author and her husband, photographer Gary Tepfer, had a rare opportunity to closely observe the people who still embrace a traditional herding way of life in remote Asia.

  • Genre: Coffee-Table and Art Books