Paying Homage

"I especially thank Ardis for believing in all of us.”

— Susan Shie, studio quilt artist

Their championing of contemporary quilts made a profound and lasting difference to the artists they collected. Terrie Hancock Mangat recalls, “The James’ collecting my early work was of the upmost importance to me. Their patronage verified the value and strength of the work and put it in a collection where it is safe and honored.” Michael James (no relation) credited Ardis and Bob with support throughout his long artistic career, stating: “Their enthusiasm for and support of my own work made it possible for me to work for two and a half decades as an independent maker and sustain a studio tradition that has evolved and grown.” Pauline Burbidge, a UK studio quilt artist, expressed the impact of the Jameses 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, spoke of Ardis this way: “Her inclusive love for diverse quilt forms was very inspiring.”

After Ardis James’s death in 2011, seventeen artists donated twenty-six studio art quilts to the IQM in her honor.