QUILTS & FABRIC: PAST & PRESENT

QUILTS & FABRIC: PAST & PRESENT By Quilt Historian Barbara Brackman Above: Moda's Baltimore Blues

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Lowell's American Textile History Museum Has Closed


Lowell's American Textile History Museum Has Closed for financial reasons. The Museum was founded in 1960. For about sixty years they have been a primary source for ----well---American Textile History, particularly about the New England mills that printed so much of the fabric that found its way into quilts.

Read the sad news here: (It's not breaking news---they decided in June.)
http://www.athm.org/news/athm-seeks-to-close/

A few things we will miss:

Exhibitions
Homefront and Battlefield: Quilts & Context in the Civil War

Programming:
See a great day at this blog post:
http://fileunderfiber.blogspot.com/2011_10_01_archive.html



Collections:
http://chace.athm.org/singleDisplay.php?kv=70515

Mill books

I would guess they had more dated sample books than any library---at least
any library that was free and open to the public by appointment.
Other swatch libraries might charge you $500 to access them.

Fabric diaries

Photographs and documents about the American mills.



17 comments:

Ruth said...

I'm so sorry to read this. We went to the New England Quilt Museum last June and had planned on another trip to the textile museum.

Donna said...

I wonder what will happen to all the exhibits. It's a shame if they don't deposit all that history with some other institution.

suzanne said...

I'm devastated to hear this. Not only for this museum, but also for what its closure bodes for other quilt/textile institutions. What happened in the last two decades to cause interest in this area to dwindle?

My own two visits to this Museum were memorable and I'm so sorry my grandchildren won't see the old, loud factory spinner that I saw and the ceiling full of spinning wheels and what a 19th Century mill factory on a stream looked like. The textile industry led the Industrial Revolution and is such a big part of our history, yet there is no evidence of it left in the US today.

Mego said...

This breaks my heart. We went here about 10 years ago and I 'made' my children go thru it with me. By the end of the trip they were enthralled. I always meant to go back when I was on the East Coast. DARN IT!

Wendy Caton Reed said...

Heartbreaking indeed. Wonderful memories of poring over swatch books.

Barbara Brackman said...

I should say that there are still three other textile museums in Lowell.

See this link:

http://www.lowell.com/museums/

Vic in NH said...

Thank you for reporting on this, I did not know it.

The Civil War Quilter said...

Darn! i never made it there and now I never will. :(

Nifty Quilts said...

Ditto that. Hard times for museums these days.

Cynthia@wabi-sabi-quilts said...

It's so sad. Lowell is losing a treasure.

Rosa said...

So sad news.Hope they can reopen one day.

Judy B. said...

So sad! I hope their exhibits etc can go to another museum in the area.

WoolenSails said...

That is such a shame, I really wanted to get up there this year.
Here, our two best quilt stores have closed and one was my pfaff store, so she sold me a machine and then closed, second time that has happened to me, so I will have to teach myself, again.

Debbie

cityquilter grace said...

really sad....such an integral part of history...

Barb said...

A pleasant note for August 26. Go to
www.cooperhewitt.org/category/object-of-the-day to see
Trellis wallpaper by William Morris.

Sally said...

Oh no! Please let us know where the swatch books go if and when you find out So sad....

Mary Huey said...

Sorry to hear that, I visited there about three times over the years and always enjoyed it.