Work HECO 234D
Lincoln NE 68588-0802
Work 402-472-2911 On-campus 2-2911
Michael James works in the medium of quilted fabric constructions. His textiles have been recognized and exhibited internationally. They are included in the collections of the Museum of Arts & Design in New York City, the Racine Art Museum, the Newark Museum, the Mint Museum, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Shelburne Museum, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and the Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of American Art at the Smithsonian, among others. For his work in the area of non-traditional quilts James was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree in 1992 by his undergraduate alma mater, the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, became a Fellow of the American Craft Council in 2001, and in 2009 was honored with the University of Nebraska’s system-wide “Outstanding Research and Creative Activity” Award, given for a sustained record of excellent accomplishment in research or creative activity while at the university. Since 2002 he has focused his creative efforts on digital textile printing and its interface with the quilt as mixed media platform. His work explores the liminal and fluid borderland between the physical and metaphysical worlds. James serves as department chair and Ardis James Professor in Textiles, Merchandising & Fashion Design in the College of Education and Human Sciences at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. In that capacity, he works closely with the International Quilt Study Center & Museum and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the areas of foundation design, textile design and quilt studies.


  • Other, Rochester Institute of Technology, 1973
  • Other, Southeastern Massachusetts University, 1971


  • TMFD 814, The Studio Quilt Movement: Genesis and Development; Genesis and Development, Fall 2015
  • TMFD 996, Research Other Than Thesis, Spring 2015

Publications and Other Intellectual Contributions

  • The Digital Quilt, Fiberarts, November 2003
  • The Art Quilt: A Critical Perspective, Surface Design Journal, October (4th Quarter/Autumn) 2010
  • Beyond Tradition: The Art of the Studio Quilt, American Craft Magazine, February 1985
  • The Second Quiltmaker's Handbook: Creative Approaches to Contemporary Quilt Design, March 1981
  • The Quiltmaker's Handbook: A Guide to Design and Construction

Awards & Honors

  • Master of the Medium / Textiles, Renwick Alliance, 2015
  • Luminaries Award, Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, MA, 2011
  • Governor's Arts Award / Visual Artist of the Year, Nebraska Arts Council, 2008
  • Named Fellow of the American Craft Council, American Craft Council, 2001
  • Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts, University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, 1992

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