Current Exhibit:

Current Exhibit: Selections from the Newly Acquired American History Museum Collection

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Sometimes, regardless of a community’s best efforts, museums sadly have to close. In November of 2015, the American Textile History Museum (ATHM) of Lowell, Massachusetts became one of these casualties after facing a significant and ongoing financial deficit. After months of investigation, no viable or sustainable business model to keep the museum open emerged and the decision was made to permanently close down the institution and find new homes for the collections. When a museum closes, one of the main priorities the staff has is to make sure that the objects entrusted to the care of the museum continue to be preserved and used for the               public good.

In 2016, the McCarl Coverlet Gallery began the process of acquiring several notable collections from the ATHM collection. After many hours of discussion and planning, the McCarl Gallery was approved to become the new owners of over 300 coverlets, including 113 figured and fancy coverlets from the collection of Catherine Hawthorne. Hawthorne was instrumental in the documentation of coverlets for the Anderson/Hawthorne Textile Database and Research Collection (A/H Database & RC) and is part of the McCarl Gallery’s permanent research collection. In addition to the coverlets, the McCarl Gallery received over 100 artifacts related to weaving and textile production. Several notable additions include a Jacquard loom head, an assortment of looms including two Pennsylvania Dutch style looms, the research collection of Rita Androsko, and various spinning wheels featured in Joan Whittaker Cummer’s 1993 A Book of Spinning Wheels.


We are pleased to welcome the new items into the collection and give them a fresh start. With the addition of so many wonderful and unique pieces, the McCarl Gallery will be able to educate and interpret the history of textile and production in new and exciting ways. Additionally, our new acquisitions open the door to endless possibilities for scholars and researchers. We invite you to welcome, enjoy, and explore our new collection and we look forward to giving the artifacts home where the will continue to be used, preserved, and loved.

 through January 5, 2018

  • Saturdays and Sundays: By appointment depending on staff availability
  • Closed Monday
  • Tuesday to Friday: Noon to 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday Evening 6:30 to 8 p.m.
  • Summer Hours: (Memorial Day to Labor Day): Tuesday to Sunday Noon to 3 p.m. and Wednesday and Thursday 6:30 to 8 p.m.