Michael James began exhibiting his work professionally in the 1970s. Since then, he has shown in solo and group exhibitions throughout North America and abroad. His nontraditional quilts are included in the collections of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City, the Baltimore Art Museum, the Racine Art Museum, the Newark Museum, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Shelburne Museum, the Renwick Gallery of the American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., and the International Quilt Study Center and Museum at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, among others.
James holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting and printmaking from the University of Massachusetts and a Master of Fine Arts in painting and printmaking from Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, N.Y. James’ undergraduate alma mater awarded him an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree in 1992. In 2001 he was named a fellow of the American Craft Council. He is a past recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Visual Artist Fellowships (1978 and 1988), and an NEA sponsored U.S.A./France exchange fellowship that underwrote a three-month residency at the La Napoule Art Foundation in southern France in 1990.
James chairs the Department of Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design at the University of Nebraska--Lincoln. There he teaches graduate courses in the area of material culture and quilt studies. In 2009 he was honored with the University of Nebraska’s System-Wide Outstanding Research and Creative Activity Award, given to recognize significant creative achievement during the recipient’s time at the university. In 2015 the Renwick Alliance awarded him its Master of the Medium Award in Textiles, for lifetime accomplishment.
His work is represented by Modern Arts Midtown in Omaha, Neb., and may be seen on his website at http://michaeljamesstudioquilts.com.
M.F.A. in Painting and Printmaking, Rochester (NY) Institute of Technology, 1973
B.F.A. in Painting and Printmaking, University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, 1971