Discover Portsmouth Exhibits, Programs & Events

Now Open: New Hampshire Folk Art: By the People, For the People

with Companion Exhibition, Contemporary NH Folk Art, by League of NH Craftsmen

NH Folk Art Exhibition 2019 Portsmouth NH

Friday, April 5 – Sunday, September 29, 2019
9:30am-5:00pm Open 7 days

at the Academy Gallery, Discover Portsmouth

Gerald W.R. Ward, Curator

This Exhibition is Free and Open to the Public
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Portsmouth Historical Society 101st Annual Meeting

Discover Portsmouth

Tuesday May 7, 2019 5-7pm

at Discover Portsmouth
10 Middle St. Portsmouth NH

With galleries open from 5-6:30pm, Portsmouth Historical Society will hold a business meeting for members from 5-7pm and welcome all those who have been a part of the organization. The meeting will include a review of FY2018, voting on bylaws changes, welcoming new board members and officers, and hearing about plans for the future.

Sign up now as a member and join us on May 7 for refreshments and tour the galleries at Discover Portsmouth featuring New Hampshire Folk Art: By the People, For the People. Free and open to the public. For more information, please call 603-436-8433.

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Contemporary NH Folk Art, featuring the work of League of NH Craftsmen

2019 Contemporary NH Folk Art Exhibition, League of NH Craftsmen

Friday, April 5 – Sunday, September 29, 2019
9:30am-5:00pm Open 7 days
upstairs at Discover Portsmouth

This exhibition is free and open to the public

Portsmouth Historical Society is proud to display in our balcony gallery works of art made by members of the League of NH Craftsmen.

Our historically-oriented exhibitions are accompanied by a complementary look at contemporary work in a related vein. Although these artists and craftsmen are trained academically in many instances, their work often reflects an emphasis on the “handmade.” The choice of traditional methods and materials, and preference for strong forms and bold colors, are attributes that they share in common with much folk art from earlier centuries. Together, our exhibitions provide an opportunity to see a snapshot of the trajectory of folk art, broadly conceived, over time.

Jane Balshaw, Aggregate

Jane Balshaw, “Aggregate”

Contemporary NH Folk Art is the companion exhibition to the concurrent New Hampshire Folk Art: By the People, For the People exhibition opening in Discover Portsmouth’s Academy Gallery on April 5th.

The Contemporary NH Folk Art exhibition features the work of League of NH Craftsmen juried members including Art Anderson, Jane Balshaw, Misty Batchelder, David Bridgewater, Loring Cheney, Grace Collette, Jeffrey Cooper, Kathleen Dustin, Don Felix, Linda Jacque, Kate Kilgus, Fred Kretchman, Jim Lambert, Kristina Logan, Douglas Alan Masury, Adam Nudd-Homeyer, Diane Louise Paul, Stephen Proctor, Anne Sherman, Teresa Taylor, William Taylor, Michael Updike, Maureen Mills, and Steven Zoldak.

Medallion Jar, Steven Zoldak

Medallion Jar, Steven Zoldak

A wide variety of media will be on exhibition including ceramic, mixed media, leather, furniture, quilts, hooked rugs, glass, and weaving. Each master craftsman has interpreted the theme of Contemporary Folk Art in their own signature style.

Mission and History of the League

The League’s mission is to encourage, nurture and promote the creation, use and preservation of fine contemporary and traditional craft through the inspiration and education of artists and the broader community.

The League of New Hampshire Craftsmen is one of the oldest and most recognized craft organizations in the country. Throughout its more than 85 year history, the League has helped craftspeople sell their work, hone their skills, and generate income. More than 750 juried craftspeople produce exceptional contemporary and traditional craft in a wide range of media, including calligraphy, botanicals, baskets, clay, leather, printmaking, metal, wood, glass, non-metal jewelry, fiber, polymer clay, photography and mixed media.

The League’s story begins in the mid-1920s when Mrs. Mary Coolidge and A. Cooper Ballentine joined forces to promote craft in New Hampshire. By 1932, The League of New Hampshire Arts and Crafts had been established, and the first official League shop was opened in Wolfeboro. The following year, the first Craftsmen’s Fair was held, making it the oldest craft fair in the country. Rebranded as the League of NH Craftsmen in 1968, the League is recognized today as one of the country’s foremost fine arts organizations.

Don Felix, Copper Swallow Weathervane

Don Felix, “Copper Swallow Weathervane”


While thousands attend the Annual Craftsmen’s Fair each August, many more find the work of the craftsmen year-round through our network of Fine Craft Galleries located in North Conway, Littleton, Hanover, Meredith, Center Sandwich, Concord, Nashua and Hooksett. The Grodin Permanent Collection Museum, located at the League’s Headquarters in Concord, provides visitors with an incomparable journey through the history of fine craft in New Hampshire, from 1932 to the present. In addition, the Headquarters Exhibition Gallery provides a showcase for the current work of juried members in fine gallery setting.

Your donation is important to Portsmouth Historical Society!

If you enjoy exhibits like this one, we hope you’ll support our efforts with a donation. You can donate any amount anonymously at the door or use the button below to donate online. Your support is greatly appreciated!

Donate Now!

Visit Our Museum Shop!

Discover Portsmouth Museum Shop

Shop Portsmouth – support our community!

 
The shop is open 7 days a week from 9:30AM-5:00PM.​

Featured New Items

Historic Quilt Featured in Folk Art Exhibition, now available as a puzzle!
$26.95
member price
$24.25

Exclusive: Hand-Made Suffragette Mug
English Fine Bone China mug
by Alison Gardiner
$25
member price
$22.50

Still Available!

Sets of 20 notecards and envelopes, 5 of 4 images each (images below), by Gertrude Fiske. Card design by Pomegranate Communications.

By the Pond   Saunterers

Zinnias   Thunder

  1. Gertrude Fiske. By the Pond, 1920. Oil on canvas, Private Collection. Photographed by Jeremy Fogg.
  2. Gertrude Fiske. Saunterers, 1912. Oil on canvas, Private Collection. Photographed by Jeremy Fogg.
  3. Gertude Fiske. Zinnias, ca.1920. Oil on canvas; 40 ¼ in. x 30 ¼ in. Photo by Jeremy Fogg.
  4. Gertrude Fiske. Thunder. Oil on canvas, Private Collection. Photographed by Jeremy Fogg.

Buy Now

Our Museum shop is stocked with the perfect gifts:

  • Books about Portsmouth history – Portsmouth’s best titles!
  • Super cool stuff for kids
  • Keepsakes for your visitors
  • Unique jewelry and apparel from local artists and craftsmen

For more information call 603-436-8433

Folk Art Family Program

Saturday, April 13, 2019, 9:30am – 12pm at Discover Portsmouth.

Free and open to the public.

Cloth Dolls

Folk Art Family Fun Project

Come to Discover Portsmouth to participate in this fun family activity!

We will use simple materials to create these charming cloth dolls.

Get creative and make a doll that is full of personality.

These cloth dolls are decorative or they can add fun to your pretend play at home. This craft was inspired by a project found on BabbleDabbleDo.com.

This activity is best for ages 3-1/2 to 100. Children under the age of 10 must be accompanied by an adult. Stop by anytime between 9:30am and 12pm.

For more information, contact Claire Spollen, Education Coordinator: clair@portsmouthhistory.org or call Discover Portsmouth at 603-436-8433.

Silhouette Portraits at Discover Portsmouth

Silhouettes

Saturday April 27, 2019
Silhouette Portraits

To Benefit the Portsmouth Historical Society

Hand-cut by artist Marcella Comerford, these lovely portraits make WONDERFUL GIFTS for Mother’s Day and become family treasures!

All work is done free-hand and even the most wiggly little ones are welcome!

By Appointment at Discover Portsmouth

Sign up online

2019 Walking Tours of Historic Portsmouth NH

Walking tour Sandy WalentMay Through October

“About an hour and a half of walking with an experienced, knowledgeable, friendly, and enthusiastic guide brought to life the history and details of the place that you would otherwise miss. It was fascinating.” — Louis L., via TripAdvisor

Learn why Portsmouth is the hub of the New Hampshire Seacoast! Our downtown is filled with hidden treasures. Our knowledgeable walking tour guides will introduce you to the city’s rich past and lively present – a unique mix of architecture, specialty shops, and bustling streets nestled in a village-like setting. This 90-minute guided walking tour is sure to bring the history of Portsmouth alive! [Read more…]

Catching Up with Pat Wall, author of LIVES of CONSEQUENCE

Patricia Q. Wall, author of Lives of ConsequencePortsmouth Marine Society Press

“Somebody said I don’t shout loud enough,” says Patricia Q. Wall, author of what is apparently the only published book about slavery in Maine. Lives of Consequence (2017), her groundbreaking study of black lives in colonial Maine, has yet to topple the longstanding myth that slavery was entirely a southern institution. But in her own quiet way, Pat is still shouting the truth. [Read more…]

How Would You Celebrate Portsmouth400?

Portsmouth NH Masons 1923 Arch

Middle Street arch in 1923 during 300th anniversary celebration. (Photo courtesy Portsmouth Athenaeum Collection)

JULY 2018

Portsmouth400 held two public input sessions at Portsmouth Public Library in June 2018. Attendance was great and we received hundreds of ideas. If you were unable to attend but have some ideas, Please “Share Your Thoughts” at the link below. The ideas we receive through August 2018 will be combined to formulate a strategic plan. We will share the results of the June 2018 public input sessions on this webpage and enews in September.

Additional public input and informational sessions will be scheduled for the fall. We value everyone’s ideas and look forward to hearing from you!

For more information, email: Portsmouth400@PortsmouthHistory.org

We value your input! Please share what you’d like to see included!

Share Your Thoughts
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Book Reveals Lost African Lives in Maine

Lives of Consequence Cover

Lives of Consequence: Blacks in Early Kittery and Berwick in the Massachusetts Province of Maine

By Patricia Q. Wall

Portsmouth Marine Society Press, 2017

Order Now
[Read more…]