James Butler was born on August 30, 1945 in Fort Dodge, Iowa. He received his BS K-12 from the University of Omaha in 1967 and his MFA from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in 1970. He has taught for many years in the Illinois State University in Normal Illinois.
The University recently recognized James Butler as a Distinguished Professor. Butler's prints and lithographs consist of photographic imagery and can be found in more than 80 public and private collections including the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, and the Smithsonian Institute. He received formal training during the Pop era and found inspiration from Peter Hill (painter at UNO) and Tom Coleman at UNL. His work combines characteristics from the Baroque period with Pop art's simplicity and objectivity.