American Textile Hall of Fame Inducts Class of 2014

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ATHM President and CEO Jonathan Stevens presents honorary plaques to the American Textile Hall of Fame Class of 2014 inductees: the Weavers’ Guild of Boston and the late Deborah S. Pulliam. Susan Dunham, center left, accepted on behalf of Ms. Pulliam. Accepting on behalf of the Weavers’ Guild are, from left, Dowager Deans Florence Feldman-Wood, Rosemonde Spinelli, and Peggy Church, current Dean Susan Targove, and Dowager Deans Nancy Hodes, and Ruth Ward.

Lowell, MA – The American Textile History Museum is proud to announce the induction of the Class of 2014 into the American Textile Hall of Fame, recognizing their significant contributions to and support of the textile industry.

At a luncheon on Monday, September 8, ATHM honored two inductees: the Weavers’ Guild of Boston, recognized as the foundation of weaving guilds in the nation, and the late Deborah S. Pulliam, a respected writer, historian, and fiber artist.

The American Textile Hall of Fame was initiated in 2001 by the American Textile History Museum in Lowell to honor individuals, corporations and institutions that have made significant contributions to the textile industry in America, as well as those who have advanced the place, role, and appreciation of textiles in American life.

The 2014 Hall of Fame ceremony was held at a luncheon at the University of Massachusetts Lowell Inn and Conference Center in Lowell.

“These leaders and innovators have blazed a path for the industry and the evolution of textiles, as well as advanced the mission and development of the Museum,” said ATHM President and CEO Jonathan Stevens. “The mission of ATHM is telling America’s story through the art, history, and science of textiles, and this year, we honor an organization and an individual who have forwarded that mission in their own right. They are more than worthy of great recognition for these contributions, and we are honored to pay tribute to their achievements.”

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick sent a personal letter congratulating the Museum and the 2014 Hall of Fame honorees: “For more than fifty years, the American Textile History Museum in Lowell, a Smithsonian Institution affiliate, has been a leader in recognizing the region’s influential innovation, creativity, and human spirit on the textile industry … Today, you recognize the Weavers’ Guild of Boston and the late Deborah S. Pulliam. I am proud of their contributions to the Commonwealth and proud to congratulate their representatives on their receipt of this prestigious honor.”

The following inscriptions are on the plaques presented to the honorees:

About the Weavers’ Guild of Boston

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ATHM President Jonathan Stevens presents the American Textile Hall of Fame plaque to the Weavers’ Guild of Boston, represented by Susan Targove, Ruth Ward, Rosemonde Spinelli, Florence Feldman-Wood, Nancy Hodes, and Peggy Church.

In celebration of American fiber artists, the Weavers’ Guild of Boston’s induction into the American Textile Hall of Fame recognizes its role as the foundation for weaving guilds across the nation.

Founded in 1922, the Weavers’ Guild of Boston is the oldest – and one of the largest – weavers’ guilds in America. Guild programs educate members and the general public in the study and practice of artistic and technical aspects of handweaving and serve to advance its standards.  The Weavers’ Guild of Boston was an outgrowth of the Arts and Crafts Movement, which spurned the mechanization of manufactured goods rising from the Industrial Revolution and sustained the repertoire of craft, art, skills, and standards of workmanship.

Weaving education and excellence in technique and design have played a major role in the Weavers’ Guild of Boston throughout its history. In 1952, the Ratings Program was established with three levels—Apprentice, Journeyman, and Master—to stimulate and encourage development of skills, expertise, knowledge and scholarship. In 1969, the Guild initiated the Distinguished Achievement Award honoring Guild members who have achieved the Master Weaver rating and who have made a major contribution in the fiber field on a national level. The American Textile History Museum appreciates and recognizes the role Guild members play in promoting the Museum’s mission to tell America’s story through the art, history, and science of textiles.

About Deborah S. Pulliam

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Susan Dunham accepts the American Textile Hall of Fame plaque from ATHM President Jonathan Stevens on behalf of Deborah S. Pulliam, who was inducted posthumously into the Hall of Fame Class of 2014.

Deborah S. Pulliam was a prolific writer, historian, and fiber artist, applying her many talents to the study and practice of textiles, arts, and hand-crafted works.  At a critical point in ATHM’s history, she provided inspiration and a donor challenge to help preserve the vibrant history of and establish a more secure future for the Museum.

Born in Indianapolis on June 2, 1952, Ms. Pulliam earned a degree in anthropology at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. Upon graduation, she carried on her family’s tradition in the newspaper business, including serving as editor of the Castine Patriot in the small town of Castine, Maine, where she made her home. Her writing career was inspired by her family: her father, Eugene S. Pulliam, and her grandparents, Eugene C. Pulliam and Martha Ott Pulliam, all accomplished newspaper publishers.

Ms. Pulliam, who had a passion for a natural and simple life, applied her talents to the practice and study of textiles, arts, and hand-crafted works.  She wrote numerous articles for the publications Spin-Off, Interweave Knits, and PieceWork.  Active in the Textile Society of America and the Costume Society of America, she led workshops on textiles and spinning.  She was a historian and scholar, committed to the collection and recording of traditional textile patterns and knowledge to provide substantive resources for future artists.

Deborah Pulliam, who passed away on May 22, 2007, was a modest, rigorous, generous, and down-to-earth person who was disciplined in her pursuit of knowledge and skills. She was a quiet benefactress to causes and needs in her community and her legacy lives on in the organizations that were close to her heart, including the American Textile History Museum.