Discover Portsmouth Exhibits, Programs & Events

Copy a Masterpiece! Free event for children.

Dorcas Reading with dog. Gertrude Fiske

Sunday, April 22 9:30am-12pm
at Discover Portsmouth

Children are invited to take a peaceful walk through our newest exhibition, Gertrude Fiske, American Master. While viewing all of her stunning artwork a docent and our education coordinator will briefly discuss Fiske and a few of her paintings. Upstairs in our program space children can take a closer look and copy one of Fiske’s masterpieces or they might want to create their own.

Each child will go home with their artwork. This Free Family Program is best for ages 5 and older. All children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Stop by anytime between 9:30am and 12pm.

2018 Walking Tours of Historic Portsmouth NH

Walking tour Sandy WalentMay Through October

“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! [Read more…]

Sketching in the Gallery – Free for All Ages

Sketching at Discover Portsmouth 2017
For sixteen select Saturday mornings in 2018, artists young and old are invited to grab a pencil and paper and sketch in our beautiful Balcony Gallery at Discover Portsmouth. Use the inspiration of the four local artists, Amy Brnger, Donna Harkins, Sydney Bella Sparrow, and Pamela DuLong Williams, all on display in “Seacoast Masters Today,” to create your own masterpiece. On select Saturdays, local artists will be in the gallery to work with you and provide insight into the artwork.

Sketching in the Gallery Dates:

Saturday, April 14, 2018, 10am-12pm
Saturday, April 28, 2018, 10am-12pm
Saturday, May 12, 2018, 10am-12pm
Saturday, May 26, 2018, 10am-12pm
Saturday, June 9, 2018, 10am-12pm
Saturday, June 23, 2018, 10am-12pm
Saturday, July 7, 2018, 10am-12pm
Saturday, July 21, 2018, 10am-12pm
Saturday, August 4, 2018, 10am-12pm
Saturday, August 18, 2018, 10am-12pm
Saturday, September 1, 2018, 10am-12pm
Saturday, September 15, 2018, 10am-12pm
Saturday, October 20, 2018, 10am-12pm
Saturday, November 17, 2018, 10am-12pm
Saturday, December 15, 2018, 10am-12pm

Gertrude Fiske: American Master

Fiske

With Companion Exhibitions
Seacoast Masters Today
Sisters of the Brush and Palette

Discover Portsmouth 2018
Friday, April 6 – Sunday, September 30, 2018
Curated by Lainey McCartney

Gertrude Fiske (1879-1961), a Weston, Massachusetts, native who painted in Portsmouth, is an American Master. She was a favored student and then the peer of several American Impressionists, including Edmund C. Tarbell, Frank Benson, Philip Hale, and Charles Woodbury. Critics and peers alike identified her genius as residing in how she ‘sees,’ and this gift of ‘seeing’ made her more independent than many. This independence set her apart. [Read more…]

Four Seacoast Women Featured in New Art Exhibition

Seacoast Masters Today

Seacoast Masters Today

April 6-September 30, 2018
Member’s Opening Gala: Thursday, April 5, 2018
Art ‘Round Town, Friday, April 6
at Discover Portsmouth

In a companion exhibition to Gertrude Fiske: American Master, along with a second companion exhibition, “Sisters of the Brush and Palette,” four Seacoast women artists are highlighted. They are making their name today with the same drive and passion as Fiske and her peers. They are: Amy Brnger, Donna Harkins, Sydney Bella Sparrow, and Pamela DuLong Williams. [Read more…]

Sisters of the Brush and Palette

Sisters of the Brush and Palette

April 6-September 30, 2018
Member’s Opening Gala: Thursday, April 5, 2018
Art ‘Round Town, Friday, April 6
at Discover Portsmouth

Hot Sand

Anne W. Carleton, Beach Figures (also known as Hot Sand), 1930s. Photo by Jeremy Fogg.

Ladd Doorway

Susan Ricker Knox, Ladd Doorway, ca. 1917. Photo by Jeremy Fogg.

In 1896, art journalist William Howe Downes noted “every year we see more of these sisters of the brush and palette coming forward as doughty competitors to the men.” Recognition of the increasing number of successful women artists, especially in Boston, came a generation after Massachusetts mandated art education for all public schools. Other states followed suit, followed by the establishment of specialized college training and a profitable publishing trade in teaching aids. [Read more…]

Unprecedented Year of Women’s Art is Open in Portsmouth

Woman in White, Gertrude Fiske

Woman in White, Gertrude Fiske

What began as the rediscovery of one woman’s incredible paintings has blossomed into five kindred exhibitions opening in Portsmouth. Perfectly timed, spring 2018 kicks off a year filled with vibrant artwork by talented women in the galleries of the Portsmouth Historical Society at Discover Portsmouth and the John Paul Jones House Museum. [Read more…]

Gertrude Fiske’s Studio

 

To be in Gertrude Fiske’s studio is to sense her restless mind, to see her hands mixing colors on her palette and then confidently, with the brushes she knows so intimately, bringing light to the canvas before her. For those of us who are not artists, it is to be awed by the wonder of an artistic being. This video was produced by Steve Sanger of oneminutebrands in conjunction with “Gertrude Fiske: American Master,” a major exhibition at the Portsmouth Historical Society.

Gertrude Fiske Exhibition Catalogue Available

Gertrude Fiske, American Master

Gertrude Fiske: American Master
with Sisters of the Brush & Palette and Seacoast Masters Today

Softcover, 8¼ x 9, 108 pgs, color & bw, ISBN 978-0-915819-47-8. $35.00
An important contribution to the literature on American art of the early twentieth century. T​he first study of Fiske to appear in decades, this book re-evaluates an often-overlooked but extremely talented American Impressionist painter. Using many unpublished works and new research, Carol Walker Aten and Lainey McCartney give us a fresh look at the career of this strong, independent woman. A complementary essay by Richard M. Candee examines three of Fiske’s contemporaries — Susan Ricker Knox, Margaret J. Patterson, and Anne W. Carleton — and the book concludes with a look at four female artists — Amy Brnger, Donna Harkins, Sydney Bella Sparrow and Pamela duLong Williams— who pursue independent careers in the Seacoast today​.​ Read More and Order Online!

Read more about the Exhibition

This year, look for our Gertrude Fiske note cards, available in our museum shop opening April 1.
Exclusive boxed note cards, Gertrude Fiske: American Master.
Set of 20 cards, 5 each of 4 designs $18.95

Art ‘Round Town 2018

Amy Brnger, Chicken and Sushi Picnic

Amy Brnger, Chicken and Sushi Picnic

First Fridays 5-8pm
April – December
at Discover Portsmouth

About Art ‘Round Town

Portsmouth art galleries celebrate this “inspired, intimate urban community with big city style” by presenting Art ‘Round Town Gallery Walk the first Friday of every month from 5-8pm year round. Portsmouth Historical Society participates in this wonderful event during its open months: from April – December. And as with many of the galleries in town, it uses the monthly event to launch new exhibitions and related programming. Art ‘Round Town fulfills our mission of helping people discover Portsmouth history, arts and culture. Coming up this year: [Read more…]