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University of Louisville University Libraries


Digital Collections : International Honor Quilt Collection

About the International Honor Quilt Collection

About the Collection

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 Art Institute 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 Art Institute, University of Louisville, Lutz Hall, Rm 014, Louisville, KY 40292 or  and/or by making an appointment to visit the Quilt’s study center in the Hite’s Visual Resources Center, also in Lutz Hall.

Conditions of Use

The University of Louisville welcomes fair use of this website and its contents. If you wish to publish, broadcast, or publicly display these materials, it is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions. For information about permissions and use, please contact the IHQ Collection at

To cite an image or reference from this collection, please use the following format:

[Title, IQB#], International Honor Quilt Collection, Hite Art Institute, University of Louisville.

To cite the digital version, add its Reference URL (found by following the link in the header above the digital file).


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 Art Institute at the University of Louisville.

With the arrival of the IHQ to the University, John Begley has acted in the capacity as the project coordinator to begin its integration into the Hite’s collection, and the planning for its incorporation into the University’s research resources and curriculum.  Graduate curatorial assistants, Stacey Reason and Hillary Sullivan, with generous assistance from Louisville quilter and fiber artist Kathleen Loomis, have undertaken the processing necessary to complete the registration documentation of all 542 individual panels of the IHQ.

Concurrently, Amy Fordham, Hite Visual Resources Center curator, has been irreplaceable in digitizing the collection. She has standardized and edited all metadata in accordance with the University of Louisville Digital Initiatives data dictionary (PDF) and uploaded the images and metadata into CONTENTdm digital collection management software version

The Hite also appreciates the vital assistance provided by the University Libraries’ Rachel I. Howard, Digital Initiatives Librarian, along with Prof. Dwyane K. Buttler for his copyright advice, and web designer, Terri Holtze for providing guidance, direction and expertise in making the IHQ accessible online.

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