Gertrude Fiske: American Master Symposium I

Study for Study-Fiske

Gertrude Fiske, 1930. Photo, Paul Juley 1880-1975).


Please join us for a symposium organized by the Portsmouth Historical Society.

Gertrude Fiske: Her Art and Her World.

Saturday, June 16, 9am-3pm, coffee, refreshments, and lunch provided.

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Free Family Fun with Watercolors!

Sunday, June 10, 2018, 9:30am-noon
Discover Portsmouth
10 Middle St., Portsmouth NH

Paint and play with watercolors!

Children will have the opportunity to test different water color techniques using tape, salt, droppers, pens, and paint brushes. Best for ages 3.5 and older. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
Stop by Discover Portsmouth anytime between 9:30am and noon.

Phone: 603-436-8433 for more information.

Art Round Town, Meet the Artists

Seacoast Masters Today

Join us for Art Round Town Friday, June 1 from 5:00 to 8:00pm as we celebrate the artists in our Balcony Gallery; Amy Brnger, Donna Harkins, Sydney Bella Sparrow, Pamela duLong Williams


A portion of all purchases in our Balcony Gallery supports the mission and educational programs of the Portsmouth Historical Society.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A Photographic Portrait – Book Signing

Phillip Case Cohen

Join us for a book signing on Friday, June 1 in our Museum Shop at Discover Portsmouth.

CohenPhilip Case Cohen will be on site from 5:30 to 7:30pm signing copies of his new book, “Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A Photographic Portrait”

Call to reserve yours today! 603-436-8433.

May is Membership Month!

Portsmouth Historical Society Membership Month

Join a community that cares about the history, arts and culture of the Portsmouth region.

By becoming a member you will:

Keep all our exhibitions free
Bring History to all of Portsmouth’s 3rd grade
Preserve the character of Portsmouth’s West End

Join or Renew your Membership Today!

Everyone who joins or renews during the month of May will be entered into a drawing for a private Curator’s Tour through our beautiful art galleries at Discover Portsmouth. Guests will enjoy an insider’s view of our nationally-acclaimed exhibition Gertrude Fiske: American Master for up to eight people. Date and time TBD by both parties.

Gertrude Fiske curator Lainey McCartney Interviewed on NHPR

Lainey McCartney
Listen to Lainey McCartney discuss Gertrude Fiske with Virginia Prescott in the latest episode of NHPR’s Word of Mouth! Lainey’s segment runs from minutes 35 through 41.

NHPR Word-of-mouth

Portsmouth Historical Society 100th Annual Meeting

Discover Portsmouth

Thursday May 3, 2018 5-6:30pm

at Discover Portsmouth
10 Middle St. Portsmouth NH

With galleries open from 5-6:30pm, Portsmouth Historical Society will hold a brief business meeting for members from 5:30-6pm and welcome all those who have been a part of the organization. The meeting will include a review of FY2017, voting on bylaws changes, welcoming new board members and officers, and hearing about plans for the future.
​Sign up ​now as a member during May Membership Month and jo​in us ​on May 3 ​for refreshments and tour the galleries at Discover Portsmouth featuring Gertrude Fiske: American Master. Free and open to the public. For more information, please call 603-436-8433.

Become a Member

Tissue Paper Collage and Children’s Day in Portsmouth

Portsmouth Children's Day 2018

Sunday, May 6, 9:30am-4pm
Discover Portsmouth
10 Middle St.

Families are encouraged to take a peaceful walk through our newest exhibition, “Gertrude Fiske American Master.” Then join us on the second floor and create your very own tissue paper collage. All children will leave with their own artwork. This is best for ages 3 and older and every child must be accompanied by an adult.

The activity will be run from 9:30am-4pm, (while supplies last).

From noon-4:00pm Junior Historians from Portsmouth elementary schools will educate and entertain you with their knowledge of Portsmouth history.

Call 603-436-8433 for more information.

Studios of Their Own: Women Artists in Boston, 1880-1940

Gertrude Fiske: American Master Lecture Series

Thursday, May 17, 2018 from 5:30pm-6:30pm
Doors open at 5pm prior to each lecture, with galleries open during the evening.
$10 Members, $15 Non-Members.
Purchase Tickets Online

By the Pond, Fiske

Gertrude Fiske. By the Pond, 1920. Oil on canvas, Private Collection. Photo by Jeremy Fogg.


Please join us at Discover Portsmouth for the first lecture in the series: Studios of Their Own: Women Artists in Boston, 1880-1940, an illustrated lecture by Erica E. Hirshler, Croll Senior Curator of American Paintings, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

As one art critic reported in 1889, “there is nothing that men do that is not done by women now in Boston.” The city was a conspicuous leader in the emergence of women professionals in all disciplines, including the fine arts. Many became painters, sculptors, and designers, producing work recognized nationally for its accomplishment and beauty. Some chose traditional academic styles while others, including Gertrude Fiske, experimented with modernism. But no matter which aesthetic choices they made, these artists all worked to balance their careers with the roles society expected them to play as daughters, wives, and mothers.

About Dr. Erica E. Hirshler, Croll Senior Curator of American Paintings, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Hirshler lecture 2018An expert in late 19th and early 20th-century American painting, Dr. Hirshler has published extensively on John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, Childe Hassam, Dennis Bunker, William Merritt Chase, Winslow Homer, and women artists and collectors. She is particularly interested in the artistic exchange between the United States and Europe and in issues of national identity; she also studies Boston’s history, art, and patronage. Dr. Hirshler holds a BA from Wellesley College and a PhD from Boston University; she has lectured at museums and other cultural institutions across the United States, Europe and Japan.

Hirshler’s most recent exhibition was William Merritt Chase (2016); in addition to her essay “Old Masters Meet New Women,” she wrote a small book to introduce several of Chase’s favored themes (William Merritt Chase, 2016). Her other publications include a study of Childe Hassam’s iconic At Dusk: Boston Common at Twilight (2015) and the highly-praised Sargent’s Daughters: The Biography of a Painting (2009). She co-organized the exhibitions and contributed essays for John Singer Sargent Watercolors in 2013 and Americans in Paris 1860-1900 in 2006; and curated A Studio of Her Own: Women Artists in Boston 1870–1940 (2001) and Dennis Miller Bunker: American Impressionist (1995). She has contributed to several other important shows, among them The Lure of Italy (1992), John Singleton Copley (1995), Mary Cassatt (1998), John Singer Sargent (1998), Edmund Tarbell (2001), Childe Hassam (2004), Impressionism Abroad: Boston and French Painting (2005), Sargent and the Sea (2009), and Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends (2015). She is currently planning an exhibition about Sargent and fashion.

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, $15 Non-Members. For information, call 603-436-8433
Purchase Tickets Online

Copy a Masterpiece! Free event for children.

Dorcas Reading with dog. Gertrude Fiske

Sunday, April 22 9:30am-12pm
at Discover Portsmouth

Children are invited to take a peaceful walk through our newest exhibition, Gertrude Fiske, American Master. While viewing all of her stunning artwork a docent and our education coordinator will briefly discuss Fiske and a few of her paintings. Upstairs in our program space children can take a closer look and copy one of Fiske’s masterpieces or they might want to create their own.

Each child will go home with their artwork. This Free Family Program is best for ages 5 and older. All children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Stop by anytime between 9:30am and 12pm.