SEE ASIAN AMERICAN FOLK ART.
which resemble bowling pins in shape, were used in a popular form of physical exercise in the United States from the 1860s through the mid-twentieth century. Indian clubs played a role in American intercollegiate athletics and recreation as late as the 1930s, but they are no longer to be found lined up along the walls of gymnasiums. As their use declined, however, they began to be collected for their graceful forms, decorative turnings, and handsome painted decoration.
The origin of Indian clubs may be traced to an ancient form of war club, or gada, used in India. In the nineteenth century, the British army adapted the clubs for use in exercises designed to enhance physical strength as well as for sport. Produced (generally in pairs) in various sizes and weights, and either individually handcrafted or factory made, Indian clubs became widely used in England by the mid-nineteenth century. In 1862 Sim D. Kehoe, an American entrepreneur and fitness enthusiast who had observed the practice of calisthenics with clubs during an 1861 visit to England, introduced Indian clubs to the American market. Kehoe not only manufactured Indian clubs but also published The Indian Club Exercise in 1866, to promote the practice of Indian club swinging.
By the end of the nineteenth century, more than a dozen American manufacturers of sporting equipment, including A.G. Spalding & Bros., were manufacturing Indian clubs, but individual makers continued to produce them as well. Many are not painted or decorated, but some bear floral motifs, geometric patterns, stars, or representations of the American flag. They differ in bulk and in the intricacy of their carved or turned elements, but the clubs are remarkably pleasing in design, and in recent years have entered collections of folk art.
See also Sculpture, Folk.
established in 1997 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), encourages the interdisciplinary study of all aspects of quiltmaking, from the quiltmakers and the materials they used to their finished products, and fosters preservation of this tradition through the collection, conservation, and exhibition of quilts and associated textiles. The center supports the examination of quilts and quiltmaking from historical, social, technical, and cultural perspectives. The International Quilt Study Center (IQSC) was made possible through the generosity of Robert and Ardis James, who donated their renowned collection of more than 950 antique and contemporary art quilts to the university, along with a pledge of financial support to create a center that encourages scholarship and nurtures the appreciation of quilts as art and cultural history. The university built a state-of-the-art storage facility and established the IQSC, which has close ties to the university's academic departments.
In addition to the James collection, which contains a remarkable range of quilts, dating from the late 1700s to the present, the IQSC collection includes the Robert and Helen Cargo collection, given to the IQSC in 2000 and encompassing 156 quilts made by African American women from Alabama; and the Sara Miller collection of ninety Amish crib quilts, which was also acquired in 2000 by the IQSC, with the support of Robert and Ardis James. The IQSC's quilt collection is now one of the largest in the world, with more than 1,200 quilts. Exhibits showcasing both traditional and contemporary quilts from the IQSC can be found at various locations on the UNL campus throughout the year, as well as in traveling exhibitions. The UNL Department of Textiles, Clothing, and Design and the IQSC jointly sponsor a master's degree program in textile history and quilt studies, the only program of its kind in the world. Summer workshops and seminars also offer students and interested individuals opportunities to study with some of the world's foremost authorities on the American quilt, and to pursue related topics in textile history.
See also Amish Quilt and Folk Arts; Quilts.
was founded in early 1991 as a nonprofit organization to recognize the creative work of individuals who demonstrate little influence from the mainstream art world, but who seem motivated by their unique personal visions. Today, Intuit's six hundred members, nationwide and abroad, support this