Museum News

American Textile History Museum Announces Smithsonian Affiliation

Smithsonian Institution Affiliations Program

When the American Textile History Museum reopened its doors to the public this summer, it was with a major triumph: an affiliation with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

The Smithsonian Affiliations program allows selected organizations to have greater access to the collections and educational resources of the museums, libraries, and research centers in the Smithsonian network.

 “The affiliation between the American Textile History Museum and the Smithsonian Institution is a fantastic opportunity for the Museum, our visitors and our community,” said Jim Coleman, ATHM President and CEO.  “Gaining greater access to some of the Smithsonian’s most extraordinary collections will be a wonderful asset as we develop engaging programming and exhibitions in the years ahead.”

Established in 1996, the Smithsonian Affiliations Program has built partnerships with more than 160 museums, educational and cultural organizations in 41 states, the District of Columbia, Panama and Puerto Rico. The program allows Affiliates to obtain long-term loans from the Smithsonian’s collections and fosters resource sharing, educational initiatives, scholarly exchange, and research efforts.  Affiliate organizations are selected for their high quality of exhibitions, scholarship, and museum educational programs. The American Textile History Museum becomes one of only six Smithsonian Affiliates in New England, including the Lowell National Historical Park.

 “For more than four decades, the American Textile History Museum has been educating the public about America’s first great industry,” said Harold A. Closter, director of Smithsonian Affiliations. “In its new configuration, the Museum will offer an exciting range of experiences that speak to both the history of textiles and the artistry of their creators.  The Smithsonian Institution is proud to join forces with the American Textile Museum through the Affiliations program.  We look forward to sharing collections and expertise for the benefit of our visitors and audiences.”

It is not easy to become an affiliate of the Smithsonian, according to Jennifer Brundage, National Outreach Manager for Smithsonian Affiliations.

 “The institution must demonstrate the highest standards of quality and share the Smithsonian’s commitment to a mission to tell America’s story through art, history and science,” she said. “The American Textile History Museum meets those stringent standards, and we could not be more thrilled to have them as a partner.”

Through the affiliation, ATHM members have the opportunity to become members of the Smithsonian at a reduced rate, enjoying a full package of benefits including a subscription to the award-winning Smithsonian Magazine, 10 percent off all purchases from the Smithsonian catalogue, 20 percent off publications from Smithsonian Institution Press, and access to a members-only web site.

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