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Bridwell|Art Library

International Honor Quilt

The International Honor Quilt (IHQ) is a collaborative, grassroots feminist art project initiated by Judy Chicago in 1980. It is owned by the University of Louisville and its Hite Institute of Art and Design.

About the International Honor Quilt

The International Honor Quilt (IHQ) is a collaborative, grassroots feminist art project initiated by Judy Chicago in 1980 "to extend the spirit of The Dinner Party" on its tour of venues throughout North America, Europe, and Australia.  It consists of a collection of 542 individual quilts that can be assembled into a multi-sectional, monumental artwork. The panels, which utilize a wide variety of materials and techniques, have been made by different women or groups honoring and addressing individually selected women, women’s organizations or woman’s issues, to expand the number of women honored by Chicago's The Dinner Party.

The IHQ was gifted to the University of Louisville and its Hite Institute of Art and Design in October 2013 by Through the Flower (TTF), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 1978 by Judy Chicago.

In addition to the individual panels, the collection contains documentation about the makers, honorees, and techniques used. Panels were added to the quilt at each of the tour venues, beginning in 1980 and continuing through 1988. All of this information is available in the online collection database.

The collection may also be accessed by contacting the International Honor Quilt Collection, Hite Institute of Art and Design, University of Louisville, Lutz Hall, Rm 014, Louisville, KY 40292 or ihqinfo@louisville.edu  and/or by making an appointment to visit the Quilt’s study center in the Hite’s Visual Resources Center, also in Lutz Hall.

Acknowledgements

In 1980, Judy Chicago, supported by Susan Hill, The Dinner Party needlework supervisor, and Diane Gelon, The Dinner Party administrator, and Through the Flower initiated the International Honor Quilt project. Following the conclusion of The Dinner Party tour, the International Honor Quilt remained in the care of Through the Flower until it was gifted to the University by Through the Flower. Dr. Marilee Schmit Nason undertook the initial cataloguing of the complete collection in the 1990s, which was also gifted to the University. In 2013, Judy Chicago and Through the Flower sought to find a permanent institutional home for the IHQ.  With Shelly Zegart serving as an invaluable consultant, resource, and catalyst in this process, University Provost Shirley Willihnganz led negotiations that ultimately resulted in the placement of the International Honor Quilt in the collection of the Hite Institute of Art and Design at the University of Louisville.

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