It is with a heavy heart that we share the news that due to a significant financial deficit, the American Textile History Museum will be forced to permanently close our doors.
This was a very difficult decision for all involved and certainly not the outcome we had hoped and worked for. However, due to serious operational challenges and financial shortfalls, our Board of Trustees has realized that this is the only responsible option.
From the first spinning mill to today’s nanotechnology, the textile industry has been at the forefront of innovation, entrepreneurship and fashion. And ATHM has been at the forefront of telling that story.
Affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution, this Museum has been an invaluable resource of knowledge about an industry that helped define the course of this country. ATHM holds the world’s largest and most important publicly held collections of tools, spinning wheels, hand looms, and early production machines, as well as more than five million pieces of textile prints, fabric samples, rolled textiles coverlets, and costumes. The Osborne Library alone contains more than 90,000 items including books, manuscripts, periodicals, trade literature postcards, and images.
ATHM is continuing to gratefully accept donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations to support the thousands of curatorial hours necessary to ensure the proper care of collections as they are prepared to be transferred to other organizations that can provide faithful and long-term stewardship.
We are asking that all who share a love of and concern for America’s history and heritage help us preserve and protect the Museum’s unparalleled collection of American artifacts.
Interim Executive Director