Discover Portsmouth Exhibits, Programs & Events

2016 Walking Tours of Historic Portsmouth, NH

Walking tour Sandy WalentMemorial Day Weekend through Columbus Day

“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!

Portsmouth Historical Society presents 2016 Tour Offerings. Reservations strongly encouraged. Walk-ins welcome. Member discounts apply. [Read more…]

Wendy Turner’s New Book Available

Wendy Turner Island Light

Wendy Turner – Island Light,

Carl Little, with contributions by Catherine Armsden and Mekeel McBride
Portsmouth Marine Society Publication 36
Hardcover with jacket, 112 pages, 10 x 12, full color throughout
$40.00 ISBN: 978-0-915819-44-7
Order Online

Wendy Turner’s paintings of the Maine and New Hampshire coast, from the Schoodic Point to the Isles of Shoals, done over a period of thirty-five years, demonstrate the range and talent of this artist who lives and works in Kittery Point, Maine.  While often based on the plants, water, rocks, sky, and sea life of the Seacoast in terms of their subject matter, her watercolor and oil paintings have an ineffable quality that elevates them from depictions of nature to transcendent and sublime works of art. This book follows her work through various transitions in her career, starting with her delicate watercolor images of tide pools.  Over time, her focus moved from images taken along the beach, to beautiful garden studies, and then moving on to her large tour-de-force rock and wave paintings. [Read more…]

Wendy Turner ~ Island Light Exhibition

TurnerSparklingLightWeb

Friday June 17 – Friday September 30, 2016.

Portsmouth Historical Society presents the Wendy Turner Retrospective Reflects “Island Light” Exhibition.

“Wendy Turner’s work establishes her as one of New England’s finest interpreters of the coast”
– Carl Little, former associate editor, Art in America [Read more…]

Wendy Turner ~ Island Light Lecture Series

Wendy Turner Island Light

Lecture Series

Wendy Turner ~ Island Light Lecture
140 Years at Sea: Ann Beattie
Thursday, June 23, 2016
Discover Portsmouth, 10 Middle Street, Portsmouth
Galleries open 5pm; Lecture 5:30pm
Lecture Admission: $10.00 members; $20 non-members

Built in 1876 by John Poor of the famous Boston “Stickney & Poor’s Mustard and Spice Emporium,” the Oceanic has hosted guests from around the world for 140 years. The hotel was named to the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance’s Seven to Save list in 2015, and is part of the Rye, NH, Historic District. Join Isles of Shoals historian and former president of the Isles of Shoals Historical and Research Association, Ann Beattie, who will present the intriguing story of this beloved nineteenth-century New Hampshire treasure through a series of fascinating images.

For reservations for the lecture, please call Discover Portsmouth at 603-436-8433 or register here.

Wendy Turner ~ Island Light Lecture
The Color of Water: Wendy Turner
Thursday, July 7, 2016
Discover Portsmouth, 10 Middle Street, Portsmouth
Galleries open 5pm; Lecture 5:30pm
Lecture Admission: $10.00 members; $20 non-members

Wendy lets us in!  Through this rich, image-filled lecture, guest curator and local artist Wendy Turner discusses her process and evolution – of 35 years.  Come revel in the seacoast and beyond as seen through her eyes.

For reservations for the lecture, please call Discover Portsmouth at 603-436-8433 or register here. 

Wendy Turner ~ Island Light Lecture
Beginning with Marigolds: The Creative Spirit of Celia Laighton Thaxter: Sharon Stephan
Thursday, July 28, 2016
Discover Portsmouth, 10 Middle Street, Portsmouth
Galleries open 5pm; Lecture 5:30pm
Lecture Admission: $10.00 members; $20 non-members

Sharon Stephan, author of One Woman’s Work: The Visual Art of Celia Laighton Thaxter brings us to the Isles of Shoals through a celebration of word and craft.  Come join us for a presentation of Sharon’s ongoing exploration of Celia’s life and work.

For reservations for the lecture, please call Discover Portsmouth at 603-436-8433 or register here. 

Wendy Turner ~ Island Light Lecture
Senses of Place – Winter Life on a Small Island:  Alexandra de Steigeur
Thursday, August 4, 2016
Discover Portsmouth, 10 Middle Street, Portsmouth
Galleries open 5pm; Lecture 5:30pm
Lecture Admission: $10.00 members; $20 non-members

For nineteen winters, Alexandra de Steiguer (author of Small Island, Big Picture – Winters of Solitude Teach an Artist to See) has been winter caretaker on the Isles of Shoals, spending most of five months alone, as winds and weather batter the rocky shores.  In this multimedia presentation, which includes readings, slides, and music, Alex reflects on using perceptive abilities beyond the five physical senses that we all share, to “place ourselves within the picture” of our own lives.  During this one-hour event that includes a Q&A with the author, she’ll share stories of wildlife encounters, excerpts from her journals, anecdotes, opinion, and wild speculation in a thoughtful and engaging account of life on a small island.

For reservations for the lecture, please call Discover Portsmouth at 603-436-8433 or register here. 

Wendy Turner ~ Island Light Lecture
Maine Coast Artists: Carl Little
Thursday, September 22, 2016
Discover Portsmouth 10 Middle Street, Portsmouth
Galleries open 5pm; Lecture 5:30pm
Lecture Admission: $10.00 members; $20 non-members

In his slide talk, art historian Carl Little will survey the rich heritage of artists who have found their muse on the Maine coast. Little is the author of The Art of Monhegan Island, Paintings of Maine, and The Watercolors of John Singer Sargent, as well as monographs on Beverly Hallam, Joel Babb, and Eric Hopkins.  He is also a contributor to the new book on Wendy Turner published to accompany the exhibition at Discover Portsmouth.

For reservations for the lecture, please call Discover Portsmouth at 603-436-8433 or register here. 

Day Trip to Star Island and Appledore

Wendy Turner ~ Island Light
Discovering the Isles of Shoals through Art
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Departs 8:30am from Discover Portsmouth, 10 Middle Street, Portsmouth
Returns 4:45pm at Discover Portsmouth
Day Trip Admission: $125 members; $150 non-members

The Portsmouth Historical Society is teaming up with Star Island and the Shoals Marine Lab as we Join Wendy Turner on a walking tour of the Isles of Shoals. After a short boat ride from Portsmouth, take a guided walk around Star Island and visit the historic Oceanic Hotel. Guests will then hop over to Appledore Island, home of the Shoals Marine Laboratory. There we will visit Celia Thaxter’s home and garden, a favorite painting spot of many artists including American Impressionist painter Childe Hassam. The islands continue to be a popular spot for painters including Wendy Turner today. Limited tickets available. Lunch, boat ride, and admission to all locations is included. The island terrain requires moderate hiking exertion. Comfortable footwear and clothing is a must.

For reservations for the lecture, please call Discover Portsmouth at 603-436-8433 or register here.

Wendy Turner ~ Island Light Book

Wendy Turner’s new book is now available for purchase. Read more…

Save the Date, John Paul Jones House Fall Jubilee

September 8, 2016 Fall Jubilee John Paul Jones House

Thursday, September 8, 2016, 5:30-8:30pm

A Fundraiser for John Paul Jones House, A National Historic Landmark

at Discover Portsmouth
10 Middle Street, Portsmouth, NH

Public Invited; suggested donation: Members $20 | Non-Members $30

Register Online

or call (603) 436-8433

• Fabulous Auction Items
• Cocktails & Hors d’oeuvres
• Live Entertainment by DRY MARTINI

All proceeds to benefit Portsmouth Historical Society, John Paul Jones House & Discover Portsmouth.

Portsmouth John Paul Jones House Jubilee 2016Featuring live jazz by the group Dry Martini, stellar auction items, A fine wine raffle, hors d’oeuvres and refreshments.

“We are so thrilled to host this event. It’s a good cause to raise funds for the repair and maintenance of the 1758 John Paul Jones House.”
– Justin C. Caramagno, Esq., Portsmouth Historical Society Board Member

Portsmouth, New Hampshire…Save the Date! Mark your calendars and plan to spend an enchanting evening filled with jazz, drink, fine art and an amazing array of silent auction items to benefit the John Paul Jones House on Thursday, September 8, 2016 from 5:30-8:30pm. Guests will enjoy the smooth tunes of local jazz trio Dry Martini, savor delicious hors d’oeuvres by local restaurants, and have the opportunity to bid on a variety of silent auction items including vacations, art, jewelry, fine dining, sporting events, and more!

Thanks to Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank for its generous sponsorship of this event.

John Paul Jones House Exhibition: The Odd & The Elegant

John Paul Jones House Odd and Elegant

Opens Friday, May 27, 2016, 11am

John Paul Jones House 2016

Photograph by Ralph Morang

John Paul Jones House, a National Historic Landmark, will open for the 2016 season on Friday, May 27. Open seven days a week from 11 am-5 pm, the landmark remains open until Columbus Day, October 10, with special one-day opening on Veterans Day, November 11, 2016, when admission is free. New this year are renovations to the historic home, Lead Guide Jessica Kliskey, and a special exhibition entitled, The Odd & the Elegant, curated by Gerry Ward and Lainey McCartney. [Read more…]

The Warner House at 300!

Warner-House-300th-logo150An exhibition of a National Historic Landmark

Opening Art ‘Round Town Friday, June 3 – Friday, September 2, 2016

At Discover Portsmouth, 10 Middle St., Portsmouth, NH
Hours: Daily 9:30am-5pm, open until 8pm each Friday for the summer
Portsmouth Historical Society in partnership with The Warner House presents…

Portsmouth’s 300-year old Warner House is the focus of a Portsmouth Historical Society summer exhibition on the second floor of Discover Portsmouth, 10 Middle Street in downtown Portsmouth. Discover Portsmouth is free and open to the public; a suggested donation of $5 helps support the organization. The exhibition, in partnership with the Warner House, will open during Art ‘Round Town Friday evening June 3 5-8pm, coincidentally the last day of the Illuminating Tarbell exhibition in the organization’s Academy Gallery, and will close Friday night September 2, 2016. [Read more…]

New Book Explores the Life, Art and Process of Edmund C. Tarbell

Illuminating Tarbell is a unique two-part book devoted to the life and legacy of Edmund C. Tarbell, one of the major American Impressionist painters and the leader of the Boston School. Although often most closely associated with Boston, Tarbell maintained a home and studio in New Castle, New Hampshire, for more than thirty years and had an especially close relationship with this beautiful area.

Illuminating Tarbell: Life and Art on the Piscataqua and Legacy in ActionThis book, published to accompany an exhibition at the Portsmouth Historical Society, illustrates and discusses many of his principal works, some never published before and several recently conserved. Based on new research into the holdings of the Tarbell Charitable Trust and other sources, Jeremy G. Fogg and Christopher Volpe examine Tarbell’s career, emphasizing the importance of family and place to his artistic vision. Read more…

Purchase Now

Tea Talk: Writing Black & White: The Perils & Pleasures of Writing Multi-cultural Historical Fiction

Sunday, March 6, 2016, 2 to 4 pm, at Portsmouth Public Library.

Writing Black and White: The Perils and Pleasures of Writing Multi-cultural Historical Fiction
Presenter: Jodi Daynard

Our Own CountryIf you could time-travel to Portsmouth during the Revolutionary War, what would it look like? How did blacks and whites relate to one another in their daily lives? Come hear about OUR OWN COUNTY, the story of one young woman who dared to cross the racial divide. Hear too, about the challenges author Jodi Daynard faced while endeavoring to create authentic portraits of both slavery and of interracial love. [Read more…]

A Visitor Center. A Community Center. A Nonprofit Hub.

Discover Portsmouth Center

We are dedicated to increasing public understanding and enthusiasm for local history. Our trustees, staff, sponsors, and members believe strongly that the uniqueness of Portsmouth is defined by the city’s past. Our mission is to provide a central location where, in cooperation with other groups, we can introduce, interpret, and stimulate the study of Portsmouth history.