Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ardis and Robert James — 2011 Honorees Announced

Ardis and Robert James Selected as 2011 Honoree

photo courtesy of the International Quilt Study Center

The Quilters Hall of Fame has selected Ardis and Robert James of Chappaqua, New York to be its 2011 Honorees. 

The many years of the generous but quiet philanthropy of Ardis and Robert James has helped educate the larger public about quilts and at the same time helped sustain quilt artists, quilt history organizations, and researchers. The Jameses have helped build creditability and recognition for quilts in the largest sense of that word in both academic and art corridors. Truly, the larger international textile world has been touched by their commitment to “the quilt”, not just our nation.

The Jameses philanthropic activities eventually led to establishment of the International Quilt Study Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the creation of an endowed chair (Ardis James Professorship in Textile, Clothing & Design at the university), and the formation of the world's largest and most comprehensive quilt collection held in public trust. The collection now comprises more than 3500 antique American quilts, contemporary art quilts, and international quilts dating from the 1700s to the present and representing more than 30 countries. In addition, they have provided significant annual support to both the American Quilt Study Group as well as the Studio Art Quilt Associates.

Ardis and Robert James chose to place their extensive private quilt collection in their native state at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, which has long established expertise in both the science and art end of textiles.  They donated not only their quilt collection, but also significant funds to underwrite it. The newly created museum in Lincoln, Nebraska is now known as the International Quilt Study Center & Museum.  The quilt museum is located in a new building called Quilt House, for which the Jameses generously donated the leadership gift.

Due to their continued support of all aspects of this significant collection and its endowment, the collection is now made available for exhibits as well as to serious scholars and researchers from all across the world. As a result, a strong state-wide volunteer support base has been created that is a great assistance to the staff making it possible to maintain and show the collection. 

Ardis and Robert James represent a unique couple in the quilt world of talent and commitment. The Quilters Hall of Fame is pleased to extend to them the recognition they justly deserve for the contributions they have made to the international quilt world.

Karen Alexander
Past President
The Quilters Hall of Fame

DATES: 2011— Induction Events July 14-16, 2011
INDUCTION Day — Saturday, July 16, 2011 in Marion, Indiana
CONTACT: Becky Faulstich
Phone: click here

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Remembering Bonnie Leman

Bonnie Leman 1991, courtesy Myron Miller/LCPQ #74


There is perhaps no more quintessential icon of the late 20th century quilt revival than Bonnie Leman, founder and editor of Quilters Newsletter Magazine.

The quilt world lost a great friend yesterday with her passing. One could easily say Bonnie Leman was THE HUB of the quilt world for almost 30 years. She appeared on the scene in September 1969 with her first issue of Quilters Newsletter and soon left her tracks around the world*. With grace she passed on the baton of leadership at QNM to her daughter Mary in 1996.

Bonnie and husband George built their business together until George's passing January 12, 1986.

Photo appeared in QNM Sept 1994 on the 25th anniversary of QNM. 

Bonnie was inducted into The Quilters Hall of Fame in 1982, the same year she and the family launched their 2nd quilt magazine QUILTMAKER. Click here to read about her induction.

The Leman children in 1972 comprised much of the staff of QNM.
Photo appeared in QNM Sept 1994 on the 25th anniversary of QNM. 

Bonnie passed away peacefully in her daughter's home surrounded by her family. You will undoubtedly be hearing more about Bonnie and the talented Leman family in the coming days as the quilt world salutes and plays tribute to their amazing mother.

The Leman Family in 1994 on the 25th anniversary of QNM.
Photo appeared in Bonnie' editorial in the Sept issue.

Thank you, Bonnie, for all that you did to revive and expand both the art and the history of that great American icon, THE QUILT. Indeed, you helped it become an international icon of the highest caliber.

Thank you, Leman family, for sharing your mother with us for so long. Our hearts go out to you in your loss.

Karen Alexander
Past President
The Quilters Hall of Fame

*Click here to watch a live video interview of Bonnie done by The Alliance for American Quilts' Quilt Treasures project.

PS: The family welcomes comments and suggests that you post them here on the TQHF site for the family to read.

The family placed the following in the Denver Post.

Bonnie Hale Leman, 83, of Arvada, CO, passed away on Saturday, September 4, 2010. Born in Purdin, Missouri on September 28, 1926, to Rex and Laura Hale. She left home for college at 16 and graduated from Park College three years later. She moved to Denver in 1953 and met her husband George Leman while they were both pursuing master's degrees at the University of Denver. She was a mother, teacher and freelance writer until she found her calling in the publishing business, when, in 1969, she founded Quilter's Newsletter Magazine. Through her magazine she helped revive and foster an appreciation of quilts as a great American art form that continues to this day. Bonnie grew her magazine readership to more than 200,000 subscribers in over 100 countries, as well as writing and publishing numerous books and other publications on quiltmaking. She travelled much of the world in the course of her career, made hundreds of friends, and contributed to the growth of the quiltmaking art in many countries. She retired in 1995 to enjoy her children and grandchildren.

Preceded in death by her husband George Leman (1986), she is survived by her daughters Megan O'Gorman (John O'Gorman), Mary Leman Austin (Milton Austin), Emilie Leman, Georgianne Holland (Ted Holland), David Leman, Andrew Leman (Glenn Alfonso), and Matthew Leman (Tara Williams Leman). Her cherished grandchildren include Jerome and Pauline DeFelice; Jessica, Laura, and Eric Bender; and Avery Leman. Also survived by her beloved brother Roy Hale and family of San Francisco; and the Jack and Betty Most family of Carlsbad, New Mexico. A Rosary will be said Monday, September 13, 7:00 p.m., Mt. Olivet, 12801 W. 44th Ave., Wheat Ridge, CO 80033, 303-424-7785. Funeral mass will take place Tuesday, September 14, 10:00 a.m., Sts. Peter and Paul Church, 3920 Pierce Street, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033-4942, (303) 424-0402. Reception information will be available at the funeral service.

This just came from the family Friday September 10 and is posted at their request.

From Mary Leman Austin

The Leman family is so touched and grateful for all the kind words and fond memories that have been posted here. It is a great comfort to her family to see that she is remembered fondly not only for her wit and warmth but for all her accomplishments and contributions to the quilt world, about which she was quite humble. Our deepest thanks for your kind thoughts, from all of Bonnie’s family.