A Tribute to Ardis James

A Tribute to Ardis James

A Tribute to Ardis James Quilt Photo

"I especially thank Ardis for believing in all of us.”
— Susan Shie, studio quilt artist

Ardis Maree Butler (December 5, 1925 - July 7, 2011) was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, and raised in Lincoln and Omaha. She married Robert G. James of Ord, Nebraska, in 1949, and they raised three children: Robert Jr., Catherine, and Ralph. They made their home in Chappaqua, New York.

Ardis James, expressed her lifelong love for fabric and needlework in her own quiltmaking, ownership of a fabric store, and most significantly, in the quilt collection she and Robert built together. Their large and important collection became the founding donation that sparked the establishment of the International Quilt Study Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1997.

Ardis and Robert James were among the first to collect the work of contemporary studio artists who began, in the late 1970s, to make nontraditional quilts as works of art. Pauline Burbidge, a UK studio quilt artist, expressed the impact of their support: “This recognition meant a great deal to me and has helped give me the confidence and drive to continue with my quiltmaking career.” Linda MacDonald, another studio quilt artist, noted regarding Ardis: “Her inclusive love for diverse quilt forms was very inspiring.”

After Ardis’s death, seventeen artists donated twenty-six studio art quilts to the IQM in her honor. A selection from this significant and personal tribute is presented here in celebration of Ardis’s life and her generous and affirming spirit

Featured Media

Featured Media
Featured Media

Works in the Exhibition

Works in the Exhibition

Michael James
2011.027.0001, Gift of Michael and Judith James

Michael James
Daybook: 8 September 2006
2011.027.0002, Gift of Michael and Judith James

Therese May
Quilt Conversations
2011.044.0003, Gift of the artist

Terrie Hancock Mangat
Scrap Bag with St. Michael
2011.052.0001, Gift of the artist

Wendy Huhn
2011.036.0001, Gift of the artist

Sandra Sider
On the Road: Slippery When Wet
2011.043.0001, Gift of the artist

Ellen Oppenheimer
Chiyogami Murasaki #1
2011.065.0001, Gift of the artist

Judith Larzelere
2011.066.0001, Gift of the artist

Linda MacDonald
Watching You
2011.049.0001, Gift of the artist

Ann Johnston
Lost Crosses (Double x #9)
2011.059.0001, Gift of the artist

Susan Shie
Ardis and Betty: Making Salsa – 2 of Wooden Spoons in the Kitchen Tarot 2011
Purchase made possible through the James Foundation Acquisition Fund

Joan Schulze
Köln – The Neighborhood
2011.048.0001, Gift of the artist

Lynn Setterington
A Night In
2011.053.0001, Gift of the artist

Sonya Lee Barrington
Dyeing to Quilt #3
2011.054.0001, Gift of the artist

Dorothy Caldwell
Blue Bowl
2011.056.0001, Gift of the artist

Gayle Fraas & Duncan Slade
Watermark “H” Hotel
2011.058.0001, Gifts of the artists

Gayle Fraas & Duncan Slade
Watermark “R” Romeo
2011.058.0002, Gifts of the artists

Gayle Fraas & Duncan Slade
Watermark “F” Foxtrot
2011.058.0003, Gifts of the artists

Works in the Exhibition

Gallery Photos

Gallery Photos
Gallery Photos
This exhibition was made possible through funding from the Nebraska Arts Council and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment. The Nebraska Arts Council, a state agency, has supported this exhibition through its matching grants program funded by the Nebraska Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment. Visit www.artscouncil.nebraska.gov for more information. Support for the exhibition graphic signage generously provided by the Friends of the IQSCM. Additional support provided by the Lois Gottsch Memorials.
Event Date
Friday, January 6, 2012 to Sunday, July 29, 2012