Discover Portsmouth Exhibits, Programs & Events

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.


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.

They were lured by NH architect, David Campbell, to teach and expand the pottery program at the University of New Hampshire. At the time, the League of NH Craftsmen, the State of NH
government, and the University system, collaborated to highlight high quality crafts, recognize their economic development potential, as well as recognize the importance of preserving heritage. These players are all part of the post war, modernist experimental movement, which pushed the limits of utility and art and stressed the benefit of the hand made.

The exhibition, guest curated by Dale Valena, includes examples of Scheier art from over ten
institutions and private collections. The focus is on the mid-century years, from the late 1930s to the late 1960s, when Mary and Ed worked in NH, as well as their later work from Mexico and Arizona. The exhibition is set in context of Mid-century modern décor. Related exhibits about the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen and New Hampshire Art Association, curated by Robert Chase and Richard Candee, are presented in the upper gallery.


Scheier potteryLamont Gallery Exeter

Thank you to our exhibit sponsors:
Humanities Council logo

Brown & Company Design

Eastern Bank logo

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

[Read more…]

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 Upcoming 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.

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.

Meet & Greet for Volunteers 11am April 20th

people at lecture, discover portsmouth new hampshireWant to learn more about volunteering for Discover Portsmouth? Come to our coffee meet and greet on Monday, April 20th at 11AM.

Discover Portsmouth volunteers are a special group. They love history and the seacoast and share their passion every day with visitors to DP.

Please RSVP to Erika Beer by email or phone 603-436-8433.

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.