Past Exhibitions

Aloft: The Wonder of Kites

November 5, 2011 – May 27, 2012

aloft doves

An exploration of creativity, possibility and big ideas.
Kites have entertained children and adults for thousands of years, but have also had a profound impact on history, from Benjamin Franklin’s exploration of wind and weather to the Wright Brothers’ first successful powered flight.  They are objects of artistic expression as well as cultural and religious symbols, tools of war, artifacts of history and instruments of science, technology and mathematics.

Learn more about Aloft: The Wonder of Kites. >>

Grace and Glamour: 1930s Fashions

May 21, 2011 – October 16, 2011

Grace and Glamour

In the 1930s, graceful cuts and glamorous fabrics replaced the boxy, boyish styles of the previous decade. In the face of economic hardship, people embraced the streamlined shape, elegant styles and newly invented fibers of a hopeful modernism. This exhibit shows dresses and accessories typical of this extraordinary decade.

Marking Time: Voyage to Vietnam

May 21, 2011 – September 25, 2011

Voyage to Vietnam

Marking Time is a unique, multi-dimensional exhibit featuring a complete eight-man berthing unity, graffiti inscribed canvases, and many artifacts collected from the U.S.N.S. Walker. It explores the personal stories of individual soldiers, and the life and operation of the ship.

American Tapestry Biennial 8

January 22, 2011 – May 1, 2011


The biennial is organized by the American Tapestry Alliance and features works by 54 artists from around the world.

The juror for this show, Rebecca A.T. Stevens, is the Consulting Curator for Contemporary Textiles at The Textile Museum in Washington, D.C.  She is the author of numerous articles on contemporary American textiles and has served on the editorial board of The Textile Museum Journal and Textile:  The Journey of Cloth and Culture. 


Molly Hixon’s “Sparkle” Paintings Visit the Weston Howland Textile Learning Center (TLC)

August 14, 2010 – January 2, 2011


We are very pleased to showcase a series of paintings created for the ATHM by up and coming visual artist Camomile (Molly) Hixon, who exploded onto the New York art scene in 2010 with her collection of “sparkle” paintings on canvas using glitter as the primary medium.

High Style: Betsy Bloomingdale and the Haute Couture

August 14, 2010 – January 2, 2011






The fine art of French fashion comes to the American Textile History Museum in Lowell, Massachusetts, with the opening of High Style: Betsy Bloomingdale and the Haute Couture. Organized by the FIDM Museum & Galleries at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles, the exhibition examines the world of haute couture through 41 ensembles donated to the FIDM Museum by Betsy Bloomingdale, wife of department store heir and Diners Club credit card founder Alfred Bloomingdale, over the course of four decades.

More Than a Number

April 17, 2010 – July 25, 2010

More Than a Number supported in part by a grant from Mass Humanities is a project of Light of Cambodian Children, Inc. in collaboration with the American Textile History Museum, Voice of Cambodian Children, Lowell National Historical Park, Khmer Legacies Project, Cultural Organization of Lowell, Angkor Dance Troupe, and Lowell Community Health Center. It is a multi-layered project that will bring together a remembrance of the genocide that began thirty-five years ago, recognition of survivors and their struggles, and appreciation of today’s Cambodian and Cambodian-American culture. For more information,


Inspired Design: Lasell College at ATHM

May 15, 2010 – August 1, 2010

American Textile History Museum Partners With Lasell College For “Inspired Design” Hat Exhibit
Everything old is new again at the American Textile History Museum, where a stunning new exhibit showcases contemporary hat designs by talented young designers from Lasell College along with the hats that inspired them from ATHM’s amazing historic collection. More

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Aprons: Fifties FUNctional Fashion

November 6 through April 18, 2010

This exhibit showcases a fun and fashionable collection of the popular accessory from the fifties. Aprons on display range from practical to stylish and bring to mind the housewives, waitresses and hostesses who wore them. A section of novelty aprons, such as those made from handkerchiefs, and travel souvenir aprons will also be on display. A large portion of the aprons were donated to ATHM in 2008 by Joyce Cheney. Several other aprons already in the Museum collection will also be featured.


Changing Landscapes: Contemporary Chinese Fiber Art

October 23, 2009 through March 14, 2010

This exhibit, co-curated by Ni Yue-Hong, a professor at the Fiber Arts Institute of Tsinghua University in Beijin and Deborah Corsini, curator of the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, offers two-dimensional tapestries as well as sculptural work by emerging, mid-career, and master artists who study or teach at institutions of higher education throughout China. The exhibit is a snapshot of how three generations of artists working in fiber media are documenting, navigating, and responding to the tremendous economic, political, and social changes that have transformed the Chinese landscape over the past decade.

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