27th Annual Gingerbread House Contest Call for Entries

2016 Adult Winner, Gingerbread Contest

Entries must be registered no later than Saturday, November 18, 2017.

Portsmouth Historical Society is pleased to announce another year of a sweet local tradition. Homemade gingerbread creations will be on display daily for the public throughout December at Discover Portsmouth. Gather your family, friends and/or co-workers together and craft your own beautiful creation!

Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth Kickoff
Friday, December 1, 2017, 5-8pm

The exhibition will open Friday, Dec. 1, from 5-8 pm, and run through December 23, from 9:30-5 pm daily.
[Read more…]

Portsmouth Advocates Awards Night Honors City Preservation Projects

Discover Portsmouth, 10 Middle Street
Thursday November 16, 2017 5:30-7pm

Award presentations 6pm.
Light refreshments will be served.

Portsmouth Advocates, a key program of the Portsmouth Historical Society, is preparing for awards season! Since 1989 Portsmouth Advocates has honored individuals and projects that enhance the city’s unique historic character and make Portsmouth a better place to live and work. On Thursday November 16 from 5:30-7pm at Discover Portsmouth, the Advocates will continue this tradition by presenting awards to exceptional individuals and projects completed over the last year.

Project-specific awards include the following:

  • Restoring the Integrity of a Resource: 496 Middle Street
  • Continued and Sensitive Maintenance of a Historic Property: The Masonic Hall on Middle Street, and the Warner House
  • New Construction in a Historic Context: Islington Street Condos/Old Port Traders site, and the African Burying Ground Memorial
  • Arthur J. Gerrier Memorial Award, which is presented to an individual who is committed to serving our historic community. Arthur Gerrier was a member of the Portsmouth Advocates Board and an outstanding architectural historian: Dick Adams
  • John Grossman Memorial Award, which recognizes an individual who makes a reality of an organization’s mission and bridging the theoretical and the practical. John Grossman was a tireless supporter of Portsmouth non-profits and Chair of Portsmouth Advocates for many years: Valerie Cunningham

2016 Award Winners

2016 Award Winners


About Portsmouth Advocates

Formed in 1980, Portsmouth Advocates was established to “promote the maintenance of the historical and architectural integrity of the structures and cityscape of the City of Portsmouth.” In 2012 Portsmouth Advocates became part of Portsmouth Historical Society.

Portsmouth Historical Society, founded in 1917, is a tax-exempt 501©3 nonprofit devoted to championing the history, arts, and culture of the Portsmouth region through acquisitions, preservation, museum exhibitions, programs, and publications. It operates two facilities: Discover Portsmouth and the 1758 John Paul Jones House and Garden, a national historic landmark open Memorial Day through Columbus Day + Veterans Day. Discover Portsmouth is a cultural gateway that houses a welcome center for residents and visitors; a museum of exhibitions and programs devoted to Portsmouth history, including Historic Walking Tours; and a museum shop of unique Portsmouth gifts and books. A gathering place for Portsmouth nonprofits, it is a popular location for event rentals. Located at 10 Middle Street, Discover Portsmouth is open daily from 9:30-5pm, from April through December, and remains open until 8pm for Art Round Town, the first Friday of each month. For further information, please call 603-436-8433.

John Paul Jones House Museum & Garden

1758 National Historic Landmark

Open one day only – Veterans Day, Saturday, November 11, 2017
11-5​ Free admission
John Paul Jones House 2016     Portsmouth Historical Society     Portsmouth Historical Society
​***Last chance to see the exhibition, The Odd & the Elegant*** [Read more…]

2017 Walking Tours of Historic Portsmouth, NH

Walking tour Sandy WalentMay Through October

“Portsmouth and its pleasures are smaller scale. They’re also best approached on foot.” –New York Times.

Portsmouth is the hub of the New Hampshire Seacoast. Its downtown streets are reminiscent of a small English market village. Portsmouth’s unique, historical character can be fully captured on foot. If you’re visiting Portsmouth for a meal, an afternoon or a weekend consider taking a Discover Portsmouth walking tour! [Read more…]

H.M.S. Harlow’s Old Portsmouth

Harlow Old Portsmouth

Wednesday, September 6 – Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Organized by Dr. Gerry Ward, Adam Brooks, and Lainey McCartney

Discover Portsmouth presents an exhibition on the work of H.M​.S. Harlow, colonial revival artist of Portsmouth.

In the 1930s and 1940s, a retired commercial artist named H.M.S. Harlow (1881-1963) painted many views of Portsmouth’s colonial and early federal period architecture, including a series of small depictions of the “Doorways of Old Portsmouth.” His images of these houses and doorways are often architecturally correct but are also infused with a touch of the romantic colonial revival mode, as when he incorporates a charming figure in period dress standing before a door. Many of Harlow’s images were painted from life, using his traveling stool, easel, and umbrella on display in the gallery. For buildings which had been lost earlier, he was forced to rely on photographs, written descriptions, and other types of documentation. The Portsmouth Historical Society owns a large collection of works by Harlow, many of which are on view in the gallery, providing a glimpse into the past and present of Portsmouth’s outstanding early architecture.

Seacoast Sculpture from Material to Masterwork

Seacoast Sculpture

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

Organized by Allison Galliher, Lainey McCartney and Adam Brooks, with The New Hampshire Potters Guild

Master Sculptors Winebaum, Stasiuk, Kaufmann

Master Sculptors (l to r): Sumner Winebaum, Michael Stasiuk, Jane Kaufmann. Raya Al-Hashmi photo.

Discover Portsmouth Highlights Three Master Sculptors

Metal, ceramics, wood — three renowned seacoast sculptors working in three materials are the focus of the latest groundbreaking exhibition at Discover Portsmouth. “Seacoast Sculpture from Material to Masterwork” (July 7- October 1) unites the career work of master artists Sumner Winebaum, Jane Kaufmann, and Michael Stasiuk in the historic Academy Gallery at 10 Middle Street, Portsmouth. A companion show in the Balcony Gallery—“Sublime Mud!”–features work by over two dozen members of the NH Potters Guild. A lecture series accompanies the dual exhibitions, plus special free Saturday morning sculptural workshops for kids and a bonus meet-the-artist Sunday event. [Read more…]

Seacoast Sculpture Exhibition Lecture Series!

Doors open at 5pm prior to each lecture with galleries open during the evening. All lectures are at 10 Middle Street, Portsmouth, NH
$10 Members, $20 Non-Members. For information, call 603-436-8433
Register Online
[Read more…]

John Paul Jones Jubilee 2017

& Silent Auction –
A Party & Fundraiser for the John Paul Jones House

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Discover Portsmouth
10 Middle Street, Portsmouth, NH
All proceeds to benefit Portsmouth Historical Society.
Members $25, Non-Members $35

or call 603-436-8433 [Read more…]

Special Free Family Workshops for Kids

Free workshops for kids at: Discover Portsmouth, 10 Middle Street, Portsmouth NH.

[Read more…]

Home is where the very hot hearth is.

Check out this short video on the Green Foundry, produced and exhibited as part of Seacoast Sculpture – Material to Masterwork.

Meet Josh and Lauren Dow of the Green Foundry who have cast the works of many artists, including Sumner Winebaum. [Read more…]