Discover Portsmouth Exhibits, Programs & Events

Leadership transition at Discover Portsmouth

July 1, 2015.

Founding Executive Director Maryellen Burke to raise funds for Nantucket Cottage Hospital.
Kathleen Soldati named as Interim Executive Director.
Founder Richard Candee moves to chair of Exhibits Committee.
Financial executive Ed Mallon takes the reins as chair

Soldati, Mallon, Burke, Discover Portsmouth

“It’s bittersweet to leave Discover Portsmouth, but I couldn’t be more pleased with my successor. Kathleen will take the organization to the next level to serve as the cultural gateway to Portsmouth. Her skill set is exactly what we need at this moment in time to continue the upward trajectory.”
– Maryellen Burke, Founding Executive Director

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Edwin and Mary Scheier Exhibit is Now OPEN!

Edwin and Mary Scheier: Mid-century Modern New Hampshire Artists

April 30th – October 2nd, 2015 

The Scheiers were prolific potters in New Hampshire from 1940 to 1968. During that time their styles, with Mary’s utilitarian ware and Ed’s sculptural vessels, gained world-wide recognition. [Read more…]

Tours of our Historic City

CityTours-2015Discover Portsmouth kicks off the walking tour season! Call us at 603-436-8433 to hear about the daily offerings and upcoming schedule. This week’s historic tour schedule is as follows:

Friday June 26th 10:30am with Bob S.
Tuesday June 30th 10:30am with Mark and Fred
Thursday July 2nd 10:30am with Sandra W.
Friday July 3rd 10:30am with Bob S.
Tuesday July 7th 10:30am with Mark and Fred

Ticket prices are $12 Adults/ $10 Members, Seniors, Students, and Military. Children 8 and under are free.
Reservations are recommended and more dates and times coming soon.

Or call to book a private or group tour! 603-436-8433

More Tours

It’s Time to Shop Portsmouth!

Shop Portsmouth!Starting Friday, May 22nd,
Discover Portsmouth will be open every Friday from 10am until 8pm as part of Shop Portsmouth Friday Nights! Stop by our museum shop, at the corner of Islington and Middle Streets, downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Shop Portsmouth Friday Nights (SPFN) is a downtown wide event where participating shops stay open until at least 8pm, every Friday night from May 22nd through Columbus Day.

For more information call 603-436-8433. And be sure to visit for a list of participating Portsmouth, New Hampshire Shops.


Gallery Talks Begin May 9th, 11am

The Art Surrounding Ed & Mary Scheier,

Discover Portsmouth, 10 Middle Street, Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Join Richard Candee as he discusses the art surrounding Ed & Mary Scheier. In 1950 David Campbell designed a new modern home for the Scheiers. They filled the walls and shelves with their own art, paintings, and prints, along with works by friends and colleagues.

Saturday, May 9th, 11am. Suggested Donation $10 non-members/$5 members
Reservations recommended: email or call 603-436-8433.

Upcoming Gallery Talks 2015

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Walking Tours of Portsmouth’s Historic Neighborhoods

landmarks slider
The Portsmouth Advocates present the third annual series of guided walking tours lead by Richard M. Candee, author of Building Portsmouth. The 2015 schedule features seven of Portsmouth’s famous neighborhoods exploring the unique architectural landscape and the stories embedded in the bricks and mortar. All tours begin at Discover Portsmouth located at 10 Middle Street. The cost is $10 for members of the Portsmouth Historical Society and $20 for non-members. Memberships are available in the Visitor Center of Discover Portsmouth before the tour and online. Each tour is limited to 20; private signature tours for groups are also available. Reservations and advance payment are required; call Discover Portsmouth at (603) 436-8433 to purchase tickets.

Portsmouth Advocates is a preservation group that promotes the maintenance of the historical and architectural integrity of the city and to encourage the preservation and restoration of historically significant structures. The Advocates are dedicated to the preservation of our city’s unique historic character as an essential part of making Portsmouth a better place to live and work.

Members: $10 | Non-members $20

All tours start at 10:30am and last approximately one hour.
Space limited, advance purchase required. Call Discover Portsmouth at (603) 436-8433 to purchase tickets or visit us in person.

Become a Member!

2015 Walking Tours

Saturday, May 23rd at 10:30 AM: Walking Tour #1
Landmarks of Downtown Portsmouth: Major architectural features of the historic city

Saturday, June 20th at 10:30 AM: Walking Tour #2
20th Century Preservation Efforts in Portsmouth’s Old South End: Changing public and private efforts to save the history and character of one piece of the 18th century city that didn’t completely burn.

Saturday, July 25th at 10:30 AM: Walking Tour #3
Destroying and Preserving the Old North End: Urban renewal and conflicting urban vision since the 1960s. Urban renewal in an ethnic enclave; changing ideas of adaptive use preservation; the new reality.

Saturday, August 29th at 10:30 AM: Walking Tour #4
The Great Fires of Early 19th Century Portsmouth & The Brick Act of 1814: Portsmouth’s first building code.

Saturday, September 26th at 10:30 AM: Walking Tour #5
Court Street, Haymarket Square and the Federal Domestic Architecture of the West End.

Saturday, October 10th at 10:30 AM: Walking Tour #6
Victorian Portsmouth and the Development of ‘Rundlett’s Mountain’ 1860-1900

Saturday, October 24th at 10:30 AM: Walking Tour #7
Walking the Portsmouth Waterfront: Georgian Mansion’s, Federal Warehouses & Industrial Portsmouth Then & Now

Your guide for the series is Richard M. Candee, Professor Emeritus of American and New England Studies at Boston University, where he directed the Preservation Studies Program for nearly 30 years. He has published nearly a hundred articles, essays, and reviews as well as four books specifically about Portsmouth. He has been Chairman of the Warner House Association, President of the Portsmouth Athenaeum and President of the Portsmouth Historical Society.

More Tours

Image: Public Square, Portsmouth, NH, 1902. Dry plate negative, 8×10 in. Detroit Publishing Company Photograph Collection. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.

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.