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Professor Mary Anne Jordan, MFA

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - School of the Arts - Visual Art
Professor of Visual Art in Textiles
Primary office:
Chalmers Hall
Room 520A
University of Kansas
1467 Jayhawk Boulevard
Lawrence, KS 66045-7531


Mary Anne Jordan is a Professor in the Textile Program in the Department of Visual Art, School of the Arts, at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas. She received her MFA at Cranbrook Academy of Art, and BFA at the University of Michigan. Her work has been shown nationally across the US and internationally in Japan, Poland, South America, France, Canada. In 2005-2006 Jordan was a Research Fellow at the International Quilt Study Center at the University of Nebraska. She has taught workshops at Arrowmont, Haystack, Penland, Splitrock, and the Quilt and Surface Design Symposium. Jordan's work has been published in various exhibition catalogs, magazines and journals such as Fiberarts, Surface Design Journal, American Craft.


Mary Anne Jordan teaches surface design, dyeing processes, and textile printing in the Textiles/Fibers Program. Students in the program have wide ranging interests from studio art to commercial applications for surface design, textile design, design management, textile sales, and fashion applications. All aspects of interest in textiles are encouraged and supported in the capstone courses.

Jordan works with graduate students across disciplines and in all media.

Teaching Interests

  • Textiles
  • Fibers
  • Surface Design
  • Textile Design
  • Fiberart
  • Fabric
  • Fabric printing
  • Silkscreen printing
  • Yardage printing
  • Fabric dyeing
  • Fabric art
  • Quilting
  • Sewing
  • Indigo
  • Weaving
  • Textile techniques
  • Cloth
  • Clothing
  • Silkscreen printing fabric
  • Dyeing


Quilts and quilt patterns have been a major influence on my work over the last thirty years, but I have begun to make quilts only in the last ten years. A Visiting Faculty Fellowship at the University of Nebraska, International Quilt Study Center in 2006 allowed me to expand my knowledge of American quilt traditions and quilt-making techniques by providing access to examples of these traditions and techniques. I was especially interested in studying Amish and African-American quilts in the IQSC’s collections. During my visits with the collection I was able to look closely at the materials used, construction techniques, composition, pattern, and color of over one hundred quilts. I took notes and made sketches, and when I returned home, I reviewed my notes, read what I could find, and made drawings and plans for my own work.

This research continues to influence my work. The simple patterns of Amish quilts speak to many of us because they resonate as visually articulate: in a reductive but concise manner, these quilts make bold expressive statements. The improvisational impulse in some African-American quilts resonates equally: we are constantly surprised by the tension and play between the expected and the unexpected.

The fabrics and quilts I produce (as well as the processes and techniques employed to create them) often allude to domesticity and domestic life. Using my eyes as the only measure, I am careful to show marks made by hand. I am not concerned with literal narratives, and therefore, many “stories” can be layered, one on top of another. Using simple shapes (i.e. circles, squares), visual references to familiar fabrics (clothing, quilts, flags, rags, etc.), and utilizing traditional methods (hand-dyeing, quilting, etc.), this layering takes place. I am interested in magnifying everyday life, using fabric, color, and pattern as a metaphor for the structure of our culture, our lives, and our bodies.

Research Interests

  • Quilt
  • Quilts
  • Fabric construction
  • Quilted
  • Stitched
  • Hand dyed
  • Constructed
  • Layered fabric
  • Fabric
  • Sewing
  • Fabric piecing
  • Art-quilt
  • Artquilt
  • Fiberart


Mary Anne Jordan serves as Chair for the Department of Visual Art. Department studios include: Ceramics, Drawing, Expanded Media, Freshman Foundations, Metalsmithing/Jewelry, Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture, Textiles/Fibers, Visual Art Education.

Selected Publications

Jordan, M. A. (2000). Designing Your own Fabrics. In E. Levie (Ed.), Creative Guide to Color & Fabric. Emmaus, PA: Rodale Books.

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