January 10, 2014, Lowell, Mass. — The American Textile History Museum in Lowell today announced a $1 million gift from the estate of longtime museum benefactors G. Gordon and Marjorie Osborne, whose legacy lives on in the Museum’s Osborne Library bearing their name.
Mrs. Osborne passed away in April 2013 at the age of 103. She was the widow of textile industrialist G. Gordon Osborne, the former President of Warwick Mills and member of the ATHM Board of Trustees, who died in 2000.
“Gordon and Marjorie Osborne contributed significantly to this Museum’s success through the years, and it is a great honor to be remembered in their estate plans,” said Jonathan Stevens, ATHM President and CEO. “This generous bequest will be used to further the legacy of this wonderful couple, supporting ATHM as a world-class museum that preserves, protects and interprets the rich textile history of our country.”
Born in India and raised in Canada and the U.S., Gordon Osborne earned a B.S. from Lowell Technological Institute and a M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina, followed by an economics fellowship at Harvard. A textile pioneer who played an important role in the development and the history of the US textile industry, his extraordinary career in textile manufacturing spanned over six decades and a wide range of diverse textile applications and processes.
Mr. Osborne died in 2000 at the age of 93 and was posthumously inducted into the American Textile Hall of Fame in 2008. Marjorie Osborne was born January 23, 1910, in Malden and enjoyed painting, as well as designing jewelry, silver, and clocks. She was a student of seascape artist Jay Hall Connaway and an avid collector of his paintings.
Karl Spilhaus, a longtime friend and colleague of the Osbornes and President of the ATHM Board of Trustees, said that helping to ensure the Museum’s future success was very important to the couple.
“Gordon and Marjorie shared a great love of art and textiles, and the American Textile History Museum held a special place in their hearts,” said Mr. Spilhaus, who is President of the Cashmere and Camel Hair Manufacturers Institute. “It was important to both of them to leave behind a legacy at this wonderful museum that preserves and protects our history and has enriched their lives and the lives of so many others.”
The Osborne Library, named in honor of Gordon and Marjorie Osborne, is a private research library containing a rich and comprehensive collection of printed, pictorial and manuscript material of interest to researchers in a variety of fields. The collections include more than 90,000 books, pamphlets, government documents, postcards, trade literature, images, periodicals and business records that record the history of textile production in the United States.
The Museum welcomes support for ATHM’s future through bequests to the Museum in a will, trust, or other estate plans. Estate gifts support the Museum’s endowment, which continues to grow as they support Museum operations annually with a portion of the income generated.