(March 16, 2012) — The American Textile History Museum (ATHM) today announced that Jonathan Stevens has been named the new President and Chief Executive Officer of ATHM.
“With Jonathan’s knowledge of the Museum, as well as his relationships in the textile industry and the region, we are confident that he is the right person to capably lead the Museum into a bright and promising future,” said Karl H. Spilhaus, Chairman of the Board of Trustees. “Jonathan shares our vision of ATHM as a national treasure and is committed to ensure that this museum is here for decades to come, fulfilling our important mission to tell America’s story through the art, science and history of textiles."
Mr. Stevens, the son of Edward Stevens, is the former President of Ames Textile Corporation in Lowell. A former Trustee and Treasurer of the Museum, he was appointed as interim President and CEO following James Coleman’s departure in November. Following a three-month search process, the ATHM Board of Trustees on March 15 selected Mr. Stevens for the permanent position.
“I believe this Museum is truly a national treasure, and we have only scratched the surface in telling the world what we have to offer,” Mr. Stevens said. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be part of such an exciting time at ATHM. And I am confident that with the innovation, imagination and resolve of our outstanding ATHM staff and Board, we will be successful in forging ahead and earning recognition as a world class museum.”
Mr. Stevens has begun a redesign of the Museum’s core exhibit, Textile Revolution, with a goal to make it more visually appealing, entertaining and engaging. He is also focused on showing more of the collection that is currently behind closed doors, as well as strengthening the Museum’s collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution.
“We will constantly be looking for ideas and initiatives to enable us to tell our story in new and exciting ways, leading to the involvement, engagement and expansion of our audience,” he said. “And we are only just beginning to explore the tremendous opportunities we can bring to this museum and community through our affiliation with the Smithsonian.”
ATHM will be bringing Suited for Space, an exhibit of spacesuits in partnership with the Smithsonian, to ATHM in early 2013. ATHM is one of only six museums in the country selected to participate in the Smithsonian Institution’s pilot “Places of Invention” program at the renowned Lemelson Center for the Study of Innovation and Invention. ATHM will be contributing to the “Places of Invention” exhibition at the Smithsonian in 2014.
The Museum’s current exhibitions include Aloft! The Wonder of Kites, which runs through May 27 and celebrates the history, significance and fun of the tethered aircraft that had the single greatest influence on powered flight. Future exhibitions include Homefront & Battlefield: Quilts & Context in the Civil War, opening in June 2012, and Behind the Veil: Brides and their Dresses in Spring 2013.