International Quilt Study Center and Museum

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The International Quilt Study Center & Museum's mission is to inspire an understanding of the cultural and artistic significance of quilts by collecting, preserving, studying, exhibiting and promoting discovery of quilts and quiltmaking traditions from many cultures, countries and times.


International Quilt Study Center & Museum
Department of Textiles, Clothing and Design
PO Box 830838
1523 N. 33rd Street
Lincoln, NE 68583-0838
[ |]
402-472-7232 FAX 402-472-2008
Located at: Quilt House, Intersection of 33rd & Holdrege Streets


The INTERNATIONAL QUILT STUDY CENTER & MUSEUM is located on the East Campus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, at 33rd and Holdrege Streets. The Center houses the largest public collection of quilts in the world. The 2300+ quilts date from the early 1700s to the present and represent more than 24 countries.

Visit the new museum to enjoy first-class exhibitions, a virtual gallery, and experiences for all ages.

Admission: Adults $5, Children 5-18 $3, 2 Adults with children $10.

Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 – 4:30, Sunday 1:00 – 4:30, closed Mondays and University holidays.

For current information call 402-472-6549 or visit

History and Growth:

The INTERNATIONAL QUILT STUDY CENTER & MUSEUM was founded in 1997 with the donation of the Ardis and Robert James Collection of over 900 quilts. The Center is now the home of the world’s largest public collection of more than 2300 quilts from all eras, antique to contemporary, and currently representing more than 24 countries. The Center is located on the East Campus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in a new 37,000 square foot building (opened March 30, 2008). This privately funded facility allows substantial expansion of the preservation, study, and exhibition of the Center’s collections.

The Center:

The INTERNATIONAL QUILT STUDY CENTER & MUSEUM is an academic unit of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Textiles, Clothing and Design, a division of the College of Education and Human Sciences. The department offers a unique graduate program in textiles history with an emphasis in quilt studies.

The Center’s curators develop exhibitions drawing from the collections. These exhibitions have attracted thousands of visitors in Lincoln and around the world. Nationally renowned museums including the Textile Museum in Washington, D.C.; the Museum of American Folk Art in New York; and the University of Rochester’s Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, featured quilts from the collections in their galleries. International venues include Tokyo and Korea and 2008-2009 dates in Great Britain and Australia.

Collections: The Center’s collection of more than 2300 quilts includes the following:

Ardis and Robert James Collection of Antique and Studio Quilts
Robert and Helen Cargo Collection of African American Quilts
Jonathan Holstein Collection, including the 1971 Whitney Museum Exhibition Quilts
Sara Miller Collection of Amish Crib Quilts
Kathryn Berenson Collection of French Quilts
Linda and Dr. John Carlson Four Block Quilt Collection
Works of contemporary artists including Deidre Amsden, Pauline Burbidge, Dorothy Caldwell, Nancy Crow, Radka Donnell, Chris Wolf Edmonds, Michael James, Ruth McDowell, and Lynn Setterington
Recent acquisitions include Ralli quilts from Pakistan; Kanthas from West India; and quilts from Canada, China, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Norway, Pakistan, Russia, South Korea, Tibet, the United Kingdom, Zimbabwe, Laos and Bangladesh.

Scholars, historians, artists and quilt enthusiasts come from around the world to study and be inspired by this remarkable treasure of quilts. The opening of the new museum and extension of web-based programming allow the sharing of resources with a wide audience.


  • Patricia Crews, Director

2005 International Textile and Apparel Association Distinguished Scholar and author of more than 50 publications about the history, conservation and properties of textiles.

  • Barbara Caron, Assistant Director
  • Carolyn Ducey, Curator of Collections
  • Marin Hanson, Curator of Exhibitions
  • Maureen Ose, Communications Coordinator
  • Angela Konin. Education Coordinator
  • Janet Price, Collections Manager
  • Mary Ourecky, Visitor Services Coordinator

Academic and Research Mission:

The Center is a vital and growing academic program directly related to the University’s mission. It provides an unequaled resource to academic undergraduates and graduates via the world’s largest quilt collection. Currently, there are 20+ graduate students in the textile history/quilt studies masters program. Much of the program may be completed via innovative distance education techniques. Educational experiences include: Internships working with world-class collections under the guidance of professional staff. Practica for education majors interested in developing informal learning experiences for youth and continuing education experiences for adults.

The Center hosts a biennial academic symposium that attracts scholars and artists from around the world. The fourth symposium “The Global Quilt: Cultural Perspectives” will be held April 2-4, 2009. The 2007 symposium, “Traditions and Trajectories: Education and the Quiltmaker”, was attended by more than 200 scholars from 23 states and 7 foreign countries.

Residential research fellowships are available.

Faculty and staff publish award winning books and articles. Examples include:

Nebraska Quilts and Quiltmakers, winner of the Smithsonian’s Frost Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in American Crafts in 1993.
Wild by Design: Two Hundred Years of Innovation and Artistry in American Quilts (University of Washington Press, 2003) awarded the Textile Society of America’s R.L. Shep Award for outstanding scholarship in textiles.
Quilts in Common/Nancy Crow: Cloth, Culture, and Context (IQSCM, 2008) awarded an honorable mention by the American Association of Museums.

Additional facts:

The Center’s Quilt of the Month has more than 5,000 e-mail subscribers, and the website at generates more than 20,000 hits by more than 10,000 unique users from more than 50 countries each month. The Quilt Explorer is available in both the Virtual Gallery at the museum and online. Website visitors may also use the Collection Database feature to explore the collection.

The Center was awarded a catalogue preparation grant from the Getty Foundation in 2004 to support research for the first volume in a multi-volume catalogue of the collection, scheduled for Spring 2009 availability.

The Ardis James Professorship in Textiles, Clothing and Design, established in 2000, further enhances academic programs focused on the study of quilts, textile history and textile design.

An annual summer seminar/workshop series led by visiting scholars fills to capacity and attracts students from across the United States and internationally.

Editors of Art and Antiques magazine named the INTERNATIONAL QUILT STUDY CENTER’s James Collection one of the “top 100 treasures” in the United States.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation designated the Center’s James Collection an official project of the Save America’s Treasures program in 2000.

Personal tools
IMLS NEH MATRIX MSU MUSEUM Alliance for American Quikts