Monday, December 31, 2007

Ardis& Robert James; International Quilt Study Center 2008

This couple has given so much to the world of antique quilts, for study and for pleasure. We owe them in large part for the development of the International Quilt Study Center. Many people associated with the University of Nebraska in Lincoln NE have helped bring this org. forth and to every one of them I say a big thank you. The International Quilt Study Center was founded in 1997 when native Nebraskans Ardis and Robert James donated their collection of nearly 950 quilts to the university. It has since become the largest public collection of its kind. It currently holds more than 2,300 quilts, with four major collections that include three other private collector's contributions.Once the James ball got rolling, it become greater and never stopped. What will 2008 bring?

On March 30, 2008 there will be a grand opening celebration of their new Museum, gallery, education and storage building. The glass and brick building, designed by the internationally renowned Robert A.M. Stern Architects of New York. The international study center is dedicated to the research, preservation and display of important quilts from cultures around the world. The $12 million facility is privately funded through contributions to the University of Nebraska Foundation, including a lead gift from the Robert and Ardis James Foundation of Chappaqua, N.Y. In addition to the Ardis and Robert James Collection of antique and contemporary studio art quilts, the collection also includes the Cargo Collection of African American Quilts, and the Jonathan Holstein Collection, which includes the seminal Whitney Collection and an unparalleled group of Pennsylvania Amish quilts. As part of the IQSC grand opening activities on March 30, famed quilter Nancy Crow will lecture on contemporary quilts at 4 p.m. in the Harding Center Auditorium located nearby.

"Uncovering the Quilt"is a newspaper article about how Ardis and Robert James became interested in collecting quilts and building their enormous and gorgeous collection which they have been donating to the International Quilt Study Center in Lincoln, Nebraska.

A current article tells us about their motivation and interest in collecting contemporary ART Quilts the James' have also donated to IQSC. The January 2008 issue of Arts and Antiques contains an article by Suzanne Smith Arney "Stitches Across Borders" with great photos and details about the James' and the art quilt movement.

I suggest you make a 2008 resolution to frequently visit IQSC's web pages A Virtual Quilt Gallery will be available at both the IQSC and online at It will provide multimedia, interactive experiences for visitors of all ages. Individuals may design a quilt, inspect details of quilts from the thousands of archived images and videotape their own quilt stories on topics including family memories, artistic inspiration, technical challenges and historical facts. These Web-based services will allow visitors to share their experiences via e-mail.


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