Excerpt from The Denver Post:
Ardis Butler James, 85, a Nebraska-born philanthropist who with her husband established what is now the largest public collection of quilts in the world, encompassing humbly elegant bed coverings by anonymous 18th-century hands and avant-garde wall hangings by celebrated 21st-century artists, died July 7 in Stamford, Conn.
James and her husband, Robert, started the International Quilt Study Center & Museum at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, in 1997. Begun with a donation of nearly a thousand quilts — then valued at more than $6 million — from the couple’s personal collection, it is today home to more than 3,500 quilts spanning three centuries and two dozen countries.
The Quilters Hall of Fame in Indiana just celebrated Ardis and Robert James as the 2011 Honorees a few days ago.