Gift fuels Quilt Center expansion, creates permanent endowment

May 23rd, 2013 | By | Category: 2013, Arts & Entertainment, Issue, May 23

An $8 million gift from the Robert and Ardis James Foundation will allow for an expansion of the International Quilt Study Center and Museum and the creation of a permanent endowment.

The expansion will involve an addition on the west side of the building of about 12,400 square feet and will feature new gallery space for more exhibitions as well as additional room for quilt collection storage and care, education and museum operations.

In addition to funding the expansion, the Robert and Ardis James Foundation donated $1 million to establish a permanent endowment at the University of Nebraska Foundation. Annual net income from the endowment will be used to provide a stipend to the executive director of the museum for salary, research or program support. The director will be known as the Ardis James Executive Director of Quilt House.

“Because of the vision and generosity of Bob and Ardis James, our university has become the most important place for the scholarly study, research and curated exhibition of quilts as an international art form,” said Chancellor Harvey Perlman. “We are extremely grateful for their support of Quilt House over the years and for making another important investment.”

Pat Crews, founding director of International Quilt Study Center and Museum, said the public’s interest in the museum, its exhibitions, educational offerings and unique mission continues to grow.

“Our guests have loved what they’ve been able to experience and learn here, but they’re eager to see even more,” Crews said. “With the new expansion, we’ll have additional room for our popular exhibitions as well as increased space for our diverse collections and research. We cannot thank the James family enough for making this possible.”

University officials said the building expansion will take place once architectural studies and designs are finalized later this year and construction bids are complete.

The IQSCM opened its current 37,000-square-foot building in 2008 with three exhibition galleries and state-of-the-art textiles storage as an international focal point for the study, conservation and exhibition of quilts. Robert A.M. Stern Architects of New York, with Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture of Omaha, designed the building. The same architects will design the new addition.

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