Closed July 4th!

Discover Portsmouth and the John Paul Jones House will be closed on Tues., July 4th, so our staff can enjoy the holiday with their families. Happy 4th of July to all!

Normal hours are:
Discover Portsmouth
Operated by Portsmouth Historical Society.
Galleries, Museum Shop, Welcome Center, Walking Tours Daily & Event Rentals
Open Daily 9:30am ~ 5pm
10 Middle Street, Portsmouth NH

John Paul Jones House
Museum & Garden

Open Daily 11am ~ 5pm
43 Middle Street, Portsmouth NH

Don’t Miss!

Seacoast Sculpture

Seacoast Sculpture from Material to Masterwork

Featuring the work of Sumner Winebaum, Jane Kaufmann and Michael Stasiuk

With Sublime Mud! New Hampshire Potters Guild Biennial Show

Friday, July 7 – Sunday, October 1, 2017


Members Opening Gala

Seacoast Sculpture

Seacoast Sculpture from Material to Masterwork

Thursday, July 6, 2017 5-7:30pm; Admission: $20.

Music, refreshments, & cocktail/business attire at
Discover Portsmouth

Join us as we explore the artistic sculpture of Sumner Winebaum, Jane Kaufmann, and Michael Stasiuk, with works in ceramic by the New Hampshire Potters Guild, and raise funds for the Portsmouth Historical Society.

Buy Gala Tickets Here

Seacoast Sculpture from Material to Masterwork

Friday, July 7 – Sunday, October 1, 2017

Featuring the work of Sumner Winebaum, Jane Kaufmann and Michael Stasiuk

With Sublime Mud! New Hampshire Potters Guild Biennial Show


Become a Member

For more information, call (603) 436-8433

John Paul Jones 270th Birthday Party

John Paul Jones House Portsmouth NH

Sunday, July 9, 2017 1-4pm

John Paul Jones House Museum & Garden
National Historic Landmark

43 Middle Street, Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Free admission, house tours, music with Great Bay Sailor, family fun, refreshments

Father of US Navy: “I have not yet begun to fight!”

Portsmouth, New Hampshire… Always wondered what that beautiful yellow mansion was on the corner of Middle and State Streets in downtown Portsmouth? Always wanted to come into the gardens, peek inside the house but haven’t put that on your calendar yet? Now’s your chance. On Sunday July 9 at 1pm, the Portsmouth Historical Society, which runs Discover Portsmouth and which saved the John Paul Jones House in 1917, is hosting a free 270th birthday party (born July 6, 1747) for the father of the US Navy, who spoke the immortal words, “I have not yet begun to fight!” [Read more…]

Four Centuries of Furniture in Portsmouth

—with the NH Furniture Masters

Friday, April 7 – Sunday, June 18, 2017, at Discover Portsmouth.

Members Opening Gala: Thursday April 6, 2017, 5-7:30pm (More Info Here)
Exhibition Catalogue

An accompanying exhibition catalogue has been generously underwritten by Craig & Alison Jewett, and the Jewett Family. For more information, please call 603-436-8433; or purchase online.

Organized by Gerald W.R. Ward and Lainey McCartney, with the NH Furniture Masters

Portsmouth Historical Society is preparing dual exhibitions for the spring of 2017 to celebrate and document the important history of furniture in Portsmouth during the past four centuries, and to present outstanding work by some of today’s premier woodworkers. [Read more…]

Free Lecture: Master and Apprentice: The Mystery of Who Trained Portsmouth Cabinetmaker Langley Boardman

Card table. Portsmouth, 1790–1810. Mahogany, mahogany veneer, possibly birch inlay, pine. H. 28½ in., W. 35¼ in.,D. closed 17¾ in. Private collection. Photo by Ralph Morang

Sunday June 4, 2017, 2pm

Johanna McBrien, founding Editor-in-Chief, Antiques & Fine Art Magazine.
Johanna McBrien has served as a contributing author on several books, and an authority on American decorative arts for major auction houses, antiques dealers, and The Antiques Roadshow. She is a regular lecturer at major museums across the country, and her discoveries about Portsmouth’s cabinetmakers have changed our understanding about the transfer of style and skill from one craftsman to another.

Portsmouth Historical Society presents this FREE lecture series open to the public. All lectures take place at Discover Portsmouth, 10 Middle Street, Portsmouth, New Hampshire. For information, call 603-436-8433.

Thanks to our Lecture Series Sponsors

Many thanks to William W. Upton and The Charles S. Parsons Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.


Sixty Years of Antiquing in the Piscataqua Area

Thursday June 15, 2017, 5:30-6:30pm
Ron Bourgeault, the legendary figure and principal of Northeast Auctions in Portsmouth, will offer a look at the collecting and connoisseurship of Seacoast-area furniture and other works of art, based on his unique perspective and unparalleled experience in the New England and national marketplace. Complete Lecture Series Listing…

Free Lecture: Collecting Portsmouth Furniture within a Changing Marketplace

Harrold Armchair

Armchair. Attributed to Robert Harrold (w. 1765–92). Portsmouth, 1765–75. Mahogany. H. 37½ in., W. 28 in., D. 18½ in. Private collection. Photo by Ralph Morang

Thursday May 18, 2017, 5:30 to 6:30pm

with Brock Jobe, Professor of American Decorative Arts Emeritus, Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library, Winterthur, Delaware

Since the Bush recession of 2008 and even before, the market value of much antique furniture has plummeted. What happened? Why did it happen? What does the future hold? Brock Jobe will bring his unparalleled knowledge of the field to bear on a review of the antiques scene of the past two decades and offer hope to those of us who collect or are simply interested in early American furniture, especially from the Portsmouth area.
[Read more…]

Shop Portsmouth! Book signing in our Museum Shop

Portsmouth Through Time

Join Discover Portsmouth during Shop Portsmouth Day, Sunday, June 4th!

We will welcome Elizabeth C. Jewell and her new book, Portsmouth Through Time 1 to 4 pm.

The Galleries are always free and open to the public. [Read more…]

Free Lecture: From Joiner to Cabinetmaker: Early Furniture from the Seacoast

Banister-back armchair with carved crest. Possibly Portsmouth, 1725–35. Maple, ash. Photograph by Ralph Morang

Thursday, April 20, 2017, 5:30-6:30pm

Doors open at 5pm; galleries open during the evening

with Gerald W.R. Ward and Hollis Brodrick
Gerald W.R. Ward, curator of the exhibition, and noted Portsmouth antiques dealer Hollis Brodrick will present an overview of the show in a brief lecture followed by an informal gallery tour. The evening offers an opportunity for close and in-depth study of several key pieces in the exhibition, particularly those from the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, from several perspectives.
[Read more…]

Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail presents Spring Symposium

Underground Railroad

The Black Past Remembered and Reclaimed in New Hampshire

Saturday, May 6, 2017 (10 to 3 pm)
Strawbery Banke Lecture Hall, 14 Hancock St., Portsmouth, NH

$35 Conference, Lunch & Tour || $25 Conference & Lunch || $20 Tour

Register Online

The North has historically basked in its participation in the Underground Railroad leaving untold, till recent times, its complicity in the slave trade.

The keynote address and panel discussion for this symposium will highlight stories of some Black New Hampshire heroes and present information on the state’s participation in the Atlantic slave trade and what became known as the Underground Railroad. [Read more…]

Regional Landscapes and Local Scenes

Regional Landscapes Portsmouth

From the collection of Robert Chase and Richard Candee.

Through Thursday, April 20, 2017, Upstairs in the Special Events Room at Discover Portsmouth

Regional Landscapes PortsmouthThis winter exhibition is a rare opportunity to see a unique exhibition of nearly three dozen works by regional artists of Seacoast scenes from the private collection of Robert Chase and Richard Candee. The exhibition includes watercolor and oil paintings, lithographic prints, and photographs; streets scenes by painters Harry M. S. Harlow, Russell Cheney, and contemporary printmaker Don Gorvett. Local artist Susan Ricker Knox is represented by a landscape from her York Harbor studio. Other works depict the hotels of ale tycoon Frank Jones, and scenes from Portsmouth, New Castle, Kittery, York, and Ogunquit.