ATHM Earns Independent Publishing Award

May 1, 2013, Lowell, Mass. — The American Textile History Museum (ATHM) has been honored with an international publishing award for Homefront & Battlefield: Quilts & Context in the Civil War, a book accompanying a critically acclaimed 2012 ATHM exhibit of the same name.

ATHM was awarded a bronze medal in the 2013 Independent Publisher Book Awards for the U.S. History category. The Independent Publisher Book Awards, also known as the IPPY Awards, are conducted each year to honor the year’s best independently published books.

ATHM IPPY Award

The American Textile History Museum (ATHM) has been awarded a bronze medal in the 2013 Independent Publisher Book Awards for the U.S. History category for Homefront & Battlefield: Quilts & Context in the Civil War, a book examining how textiles were both an expression of and a motivating force behind American politics and culture during the Civil War. The book accompanied a critically acclaimed 2012 ATHM exhibit of the same name. From left are Lynne Zacek Bassett and Madelyn Shaw, co-authors of Homefront & Battlefield, with ATHM President Jonathan Stevens and Diane Fagan Affleck, Homefront & Battlefield Project Director.

Homefront & Battlefield was published by ATHM in conjunction with its critically acclaimed traveling exhibition of the same name. When civil war broke out in America in 1861, the very fabric of life was altered.Homefront & Battlefield placed the quilt and its story in a broader context through the use of textile-related artifacts, relevant images (including paintings, photographs, prints, and ephemera), and quotations from diaries and letters.

The book was authored by Madelyn Shaw and Lynne Zacek Bassett, who also served as guest curators for the exhibit, and was published by ATHM under the direction of Project Director Diane Fagan Affleck.
Homefront & Battlefield connects deeply moving and insightful personal stories about the war with the broader national context and history, examining how textiles were both an expression of and a motivating force behind American politics and culture during the Civil War.

“This book enables the reader to gain a better understanding of every aspect of the war through the lens of textiles, strengthening the American understanding of the complex issues at the center of the conflict and humanizing the war through objects that carry culture and meaning beyond their surface value,” said Ms. Fagan Affleck. “The IPPY award recognizes the incredible depth of work and the level of detail required to provide a new and different way of looking at the Civil War, one of the most documented historical periods in our country.”

According to the authors’ introduction: “The project is intended to encourage visitors to view the war not in isolation or through stereotypes and simplifications, but in its complicated and uneasy place in the context of American history. Through a wealth of artifacts drawn from around the nation, each with a strong provenance and embodying project themes, audiences will be able to see and acknowledge the human experiences beneath the veneer of Blue and Gray.”

Of an estimated 5,240 entries in this year’s awards, Homefront & Battlefield was among only 382 books receiving a medal and the national recognition that comes with this prestigious award. The medal ceremony for the IPPY Awards took place during Book Expo America, (BEA), in New York City on May 29.
Copies of Homefront & Battlefield may be purchased at ATHM’s museum shop at 491 Dutton St., Lowell, MA, or by calling (978) 441-0400 x243. For more information, visit www.athm.org.

Following its run at ATHM, The Homefront & Battlefield exhibit is traveling throughout the country. Future destinations include the New-York Historical Society, New York, NY, April 4 – August 31, 2014; Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, VT, September 20, 2014 – January 1, 2015; and the Nebraska State Historical Society, Lincoln, NE, February 1, – June 30, 2015.

About the American Textile History Museum
An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the American Textile History Museum in Lowell, MA, tells America’s story through the art, history, and science of textiles. In addition to its core exhibition, Textile Revolution: An Exploration through Space and Time and rotating special exhibitions, 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.

About the Independent Publisher Book Awards
The “IPPY” Awards, launched in 1996, are designed to bring increased recognition to the deserving but often unsung titles published by independent authors and publishers. Since the inaugural contest over 4,500 books have received IPPY Awards, and all the recognition, credibility, and increased sales that a book award can bring. Independent spirit and expertise comes from publishers of all sizes and budgets, and books are judged with that in mind. The Awards are owned and operated by Jenkins Group; a publishing services company founded 1988 and located in Traverse City, Michigan. The full list of award winners is available atwww.independentpublisher.com