Mary Anne Jordan

Mary Anne Jordan
  • Professor of Visual Art in Textiles

Contact Info

Office Phone:
Office Phone Second:
Department Phone:
Chalmers Hall, room #300
Chalmers Hall, room #520A


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.


Fibers, Cranbrook Academy of Art, 1985, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan


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
  • natural dyeing
  • natural dyes


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

Selected Publications

Jordan, Mary Anne. 2000. “Designing Your Own Fabrics.” Book Chapters. In Creative Guide to Color & Fabric, edited by Eleanor Levie. Emmaus, PA: Rodale Books.


Visual Systems: The Quilter’s Eye. Vero Beach Museum of Art. Vero Beach. FLA. 2013Innovators and Legends. Muskegon Museum of Art. Muskegon. MI. 2012 - 2013Personal Visions. Quilt Visions / San Diego, visions Art Quilt Gallery. San Diego. CA. 2009Perspectives: Art, Craft, Design, and the Studio Quilt. International Quilt Study Center and Museum, Quilt Museum, Lincoln, NE. 2009International Quilt Study Center, University of Nebraska. Lincoln. NE. 2007 - PresentKansas Art Collection. Emprise Bank. Wichita. KS. 2013 - Present


Mary Anne Jordan served as Chair for the Department of Visual Art 2010-2018 Department studios include: Ceramics, Drawing, Expanded Media, Freshman Foundations, Metalsmithing/Jewelry, Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture, Textiles/Fibers, Visual Art Education.
Current departmental service includes service such as promotion and tenure, search committees, scholarship, graduate executive committee, chair advisory, and other ad-hoc committees etc.
University service includes Art on Campus committee and various invited committees such as reviewer for faculty REI grants.
Community service includes involvement with Van Go Inc., a local arts organization that provides job training for at-risk youth. I also donate artwork annually to the Lawrence Art Center for their fundraising auction. I am an active participant in local arts events.