Discover Portsmouth Exhibits, Programs & Events

NH Folk Art Exhibition Members Only Opening Reception

NH Folk Art Exhibition 2019 Portsmouth NH

Thursday, April 4, 5:30–7:30pm.
Members: $35 per person

Join us for the opening reception of our newest exhibition, New Hampshire Folk Art: By the People, For the People, curated by Gerald W. R. Ward. Your attendance at this Member event – held prior to our public opening – will support free and reduced admission to the programs of Portsmouth Historical Society.
Music provided by Curt Bessette and Jenn Kurtz.
Delicious appetizers by River House and Atlantic Grill will be served, with refreshments courtesy of Liar’s Bench and South Street & Vine.
Cocktail attire encouraged.
Join Portsmouth Historical Society today and be a part of this incredible evening!
This reception has been generously sponsored by Skinner, Inc., with additional support by Atlantic Grill and River House.

Members Register Here

Not Yet a Member?

Click Here and Join Today!

For tickets and information, or to become a member, call 603-436-8433

New Hampshire Folk Art: By the People, For the People
with Companion Exhibition, Contemporary NH Folk Art, by League of NH Craftsmen

Friday, April 5 – Sunday, September 29, 2019
at the Academy Gallery, Discover Portsmouth
Gerald W.R. Ward, Curator

READ MORE ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

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…]

Opening April 5th 2019: 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

Members Only Opening Gala: Thursday, April 4, 2019

at the Academy Gallery, Discover Portsmouth

Gerald W.R. Ward, Curator

This Exhibition is Free and Open to the Public
[Read more…]

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
Members Only Opening Gala: Thursday, April 4, 2019

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.

Copyright Jane Balshaw

Copyright Jane Balshaw

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.

Zoldak Medallion Jar

Zoldak Medallion Jar

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.

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!

Leadership Changes at Portsmouth Historical Society

Portsmouth Historical Society Welcomes Ellen Fineberg.

Portsmouth Historical Society Board of Directors is very pleased to announce that Ellen Fineberg has been engaged to serve as Interim Executive Director beginning January 1, 2019. Current Executive Director Kathleen Soldati will be retiring December 31, 2018 after three years of exemplary leadership.

“We are delighted that Ellen Fineberg has agreed to accept the position of Interim Executive Director during this time of transition, enabling the Historical Society’s Board of Trustees to carefully plan and conduct a successful search for the next director over the coming months.” said Martha Fuller Clark, vice chair of the PHS Board of Trustees. Fuller Clark noted that the use of interim executive directors is now considered a “best practice” for institutions when undergoing a change in leadership.

Fineberg, a 30-year Portsmouth resident, is an active member of the community. Her public service includes thirteen years sitting on the Historic District Commission; guiding the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Committee on Arts and Culture; serving on the Portsmouth Advocates; co-authoring Portsmouth’s Cultural Plan and being a board member of Art-Speak! Portsmouth’s Cultural Commission.

“Ellen brings just the right combination of skills and experience to Portsmouth Historical Society to serve on an interim basis – from her nonprofit expertise and her passion for community service to her familiarity with historic Portsmouth and the community at large. She is ideally suited for our current situation. The board is thrilled that she will be leading the organization beginning in the new year,” said Portsmouth Historical president Dan Hoefle.

Fineberg has also held nonprofit leadership roles at the Peabody Essex Museum, the Women’s Business Center and NH Kids Count. She currently serves on the Board of the Portsmouth Athenaeum and helped coordinate TEDxPortsmouth 2018.

Dan Hoefle points to the evolution of Portsmouth Historical in recent years under outgoing director Soldati. Hoefle added, “People have been so impressed by the Edmund Tarbell and Gertrude Fiske art exhibitions. During her tenure, Kathleen built a stellar professional staff and volunteer support system. She oversaw expanded programming, needed upgrades to our buildings and the establishment of Portsmouth400. As a result of her work and that of the entire staff over the past three years, memberships and visitor interactions have increased dramatically. We are grateful for all Kathleen accomplished during her tenure.”

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
[Read more…]

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…]

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.