Sunday, July 17, 2011

In Memory of Ardis James, Who, With Husband Robert Founded the International Quilt Study Center and Museum in Lincoln, NE (A Route 6 City)

International Quilt Study Center and Museum
Lincoln, NE
International Quilt Study Center and Museum
Lincoln, NE

International Quilt Study Center and Museum; put everything you thought you knew about the quaint, country art of quilting aside.  The once homespun handicraft has risen to the level of academic study. With 3,500 quilts from nearly 30 countries, this fantastic museum and study center conducts genealogical and sociological research on antique quilts, and exhibits these intricate and amazing creations on a rotating basis. The new LEED contemporary building was designed to represent pieces of a quilt and it showcases these artifacts in the best possible manner.  There’s an interactive room where you can record your own quilt story, and upstairs a soaring, temperature-controlled gallery where some of the oldest and best quilts the world has to offer are on display.  Famous quilter, Grace Snyder used 80,000 pieces in one of her creations, and the museum has one of her works on display.  “Quilts are so personal, so intimate, and a wonderful way to put a piece of yourself into a functional work of art to give to others,” said museum staff member Maureen Ose.  A must-see even for non-quilters (like me) who will gain appreciation for the craft here.

Last month, I wrote the above about the International Quilt Study Center in Lincoln, NE.  But I left out some very important information.  The Center was founded in 1997 when Chappaqua, NY residents Ardis and Robert James donated 1,000 quilts from their personal collection to establish a museum and academic study center in Lincoln, NE (where Ardis was born). 

Why am I revisiting this now?  Ardis and Robert moved into a senior residence in my hometown - Stamford, CT - and according to today's New York Times obituary, Ardis passed away on July 7, 2011 just several miles from my house. 

The world is richer for Ardis Jame's contribution to the art, craft and study of quilting.  This post is in honor and memory of her.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Marlerie, The IQSC collection has grown from the initial around 1,000 quilts to approximately 3,500 quilts now. Some IQSC has acquired directly by doing their own buying. Some the Jameses continued to acquire and then donated. Would you be willing to add a link to the TQHF blog? The TQHF blog is where readers will get all the up-to-date researched stories about the honorees.

    Since I could not make it to the Induction this year due to some health problems, I am now calling my friends who were there and will be writing up a report about Ardis adn Robert's induction based on my interviews.

    Thank you for posting about Ardis James!

    Karen Alexander
    Independent Quilt Historian
    Past President of TQHF
    TQHF blog author


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