Discover Portsmouth Exhibits, Programs & Events

Art ‘Round Town Friday, Sept 4, 2015, 5-8pm

Upstairs at Discover Portsmouth, League of NH Craftsmen and NH Art AssociationDiscover Portsmouth invites the public and all League of NH Craftsmen members to the Mid-Century Modern: Edwin and Mary Scheier exhibition and the companion retrospective exhibition upstairs of League and NH Art Association members. Complimentary refreshments will be provided.

Upstairs Retrospectives exhibit

The second floor (or balcony) exhibit provides the regional context for the Scheiers work by focusing on two organizations indispensable to the Scheier’s careers. Ed Scheier was active in the NH Art Association (now celebrating its 75th year) and both Scheiers were employed by the League of NH Craftsmen. The retrospective exhibit’s focus is also on the mid-century years, from 1940 to the late 1960s, when Mary and Ed lived and worked in NH, and explores many of the contemporary artists and craftsmen of their day who belonged to both organizations.

The work of dozens of well-known (Paul Sample, Fannie Hillsmith, Omer Lassonde and John Laurent) and nearly forgotten artists of the WPA — who provided several of the earliest presidents of the fledgling art association — have been gathered for this exhibition. Of this mid-century generation many, like Ed Scheier himself, studied painting with Hans Hoffman. Many early members of the NH Art Association –such as William Holst, Bartlett Tracy, Glen Krause Jeanette Genius, and Virginia Mortenson Francis — taught art in NH or were summer artists who helped plant the seeds of modernism in the Granite State. Many artists — print makers, silversmiths, jewelers, sculptors, and weavers belonged to both organizations, or had a spouse who belonged to the League.

The exhibits are in collaboration with the University of New Hampshire, the NH Art Association and the League of NH Craftsmen. Maryellen Burke, Executive Director of The Portsmouth Historical Society notes, “As always, we work in collaboration to bring an important cultural story to the Seacoast. This year we’re pleased to strengthen our ties to UNH, the NH Arts Association and The League. We couldn’t do it without them.”

Pioneering partnership – state & university support for arts/crafts during Depression

“First in the nation status doesn’t just refer to our presidential primary but to the state’s financial support of the arts in the Depression,” explains Richard Candee, President of the Portsmouth Historical Society Board of Trustees. “Governor John Gilbert Winant successfully urged the NH Legislature to support the fledgling League of NH Craftsmen in 1933 which would boost the economy through small craft industries (including Portsmouth Home Industries established that year). The Governor and Council’s support of educational training, exhibition of art, and marketing of NH art and crafts all contributed to New Hampshire’s mid-century reputation as a highpoint of the creative economy and to its special reputation as a haven for artists and craftsmen.

Candee continues, “Later, in the 40s that same nurturing spirit continued as League Director David Campbell recruited top craftsmen like the Scheiers from across the country to move to and work here in the state, with the support of the University of New Hampshire. The Scheiers work and their involvement in both the NHAA and the League are part of our arts and crafts legacy today. Between the artists the Scheiers owned on the walls of their Durham home and those in the retrospectives, there will be more mid-century modern art of the 40s to 60s than has been seen in the seacoast since that time.”

Visit the Edwin and Mary Scheier Exhibit

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

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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…]

Walking Tours of our Historic City

CityTours-2015Discover Portsmouth hosts historic walking tours of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Call us at 603-436-8433 to hear about the daily offerings and upcoming schedule. This week’s historic tour schedule is as follows:

Monday, Aug 31 at 10:30: Linda K.
Tuesday Sept 1 at 10:30 Fred L.
Thursday Sept 3 at 10:30 Jeff T.

Call or Email to book a private or group tour! 603-436-8433 or info@portsmouthhistory.org

Tickets included a FREE pass to the John Paul Jones house!

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.

 

More Tours

Sept. 17—John Winant: New Hampshire Man of the World.

Join Dick Hesse as he examines three-time NH Governor John G. Winant’s life and measures his impact at home and abroad. John G. Winant, St. Paul’s School graduate and Vice-Rector, World War I Army Air Service captain, went on to serve the nation in several capacities on the national and international scene. In the process he became a hero to the British in World War II and to the common man throughout the developed world. His life, marked by highs and lows, ended tragically in his mansion in Concord.

September 17, 2015

Doors open at 6:30 lecture begins at 7pm. Free event brought to you by New Hampshire Humanities Council’s Humanities To Go! program
Discover Portsmouth, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 10 Middle Street.
Reservations recommended: Email info@portsmouthhistory.org or call 603-436-8433

More Gallery Talks

Gallery Talks 2015

Scheier 3229The current Scheier Exhibit at Discover Portsmouth, 10 Middle Street, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, hosts a series of gallery talks this summer.
Reservations recommended: email info@portsmouthhistory.org or call 603-436-8433.

June 13: Art and Craft in New Hampshire

Co-Curators of New Hampshire Art Association and League of New Hampshire Craftsmen: A Retrospective Richard Candee and Robert Chase discuss Art and Craft in New Hampshire. The origins of the NHAA in the WPA and the League of NH Craftsmen.
Saturday, June 13. Talk begins at 11am, Suggested Donation $10 non-members/$5 members
Reservations recommended: email info@portsmouthhistory.org or call 603-436-8433.

Humanities Council logoJune 25th Michael Komanecky Lecture

Keynote on Ed & Mary Scheier by Michael K. Komanecky, Chief Curator, Farnsworth Art Museum.
Doors open 6pm lecture begins at 6:30pm. This is a free event open to the public, funded in part by the NH Humanities Council.
Reservations recommended: email info@portsmouthhistory.org or call 603-436-8433.

July 18th gallery talk: Mid-century Modernism in the NHAA

Co-Curators of New Hampshire Art Association and League of New Hampshire Craftsmen: A Retrospective Richard Candee and Robert Chase discuss Mid-century modernism in the NHAA, including the annual Currier Exhibitions and the scandal of 1948.

Talk begins at 11am, Suggested Donation $10 non-members/$5 members
Reservations recommended: email info@portsmouthhistory.org or call 603-436-8433.

Humanities Council logoJuly 23rd Film Screening

Award Winning Producer, Ken Browne, joins us for a screening of his documentaries Four Hands, One Heart and A League of Their Own.
Doors open 5:30 films begin at 6pm. This is a free event open to the public. Funded in part by the NH Humanities Council.
Reservations recommended: info@portsmouthhistory.org or 603-436-8433

August 1st Gallery Talk

Join Richard Candee in a discussion on Ed Scheier, Artist of Durham: Ed Scheier was a member of the UNH Art faculty. In 1950 he joined the NH Art Association and exhibited with several members of that department. His graphic skills were not limited to clay, but found expression in oil painting, rug design, sculpture and computer graphics. His UNH colleagues’ work can be seen in the NHAA Retrospective.
Talk begins at 11am, Suggested Donation $10 non-members/$5 members
Reservations recommended: info@portsmouthhistory.org or 603-436-8433

August 7th Collectors Panel

Collectors Panel: A dynamic discussion with several Scheier collectors.
Doors open at 5:30 pm panel begins at 6:00 pm, Suggested Donation $20 non-members/$10 members
Reservations recommended: info@portsmouthhistory.org or 603-436-8433

September 17th John Winant Lecture

John Winant: New Hampshire Man of the World:
John G. Winant, St. Paul’s School graduate and Vice-Rector, World War I Army Air Service captain, and three-time governor of New Hampshire, went on to serve the nation in several capacities on the national and international scene. In the process he became a hero to the British in World War II and to the common man throughout the developed world. His life, marked by highs and lows, ended tragically in his mansion in Concord. Dick Hesse examines Winant’s life and measures his impact at home and abroad.
Doors open at 6:30 lecture begins at 7pm. Free event brought to you by New Hampshire Humanities Council’s Humanities To Go! program

September 19th gallery talk

Co-Curators of New Hampshire Art Association and League of New Hampshire Craftsmen: A Retrospective Richard Candee and Robert Chase discuss The Grace Casey Years and the boom in state and local support for the arts in New Hampshire. With the “revival” of historic Portsmouth in the mid-1960s Grace Casey and Miriam Sawyer sold work by NHAA artists in the River House Gallery on Bow Street. Casey soon established a branch Art Association gallery in the Wentworth House at Strawbery Banke and helped established the Prescott Park Arts Festival.

Talk begins at 11am, Suggested Donation $10 non-members/$5 members
Reservations recommended: info@portsmouthhistory.org or 603-436-8433.

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

[Read more…]

It’s Time to Shop Portsmouth!

Shop Portsmouth!Discover Portsmouth is 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 through Columbus Day (Oct. 12).

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

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Walking Tours of Portsmouth’s Historic Neighborhoods

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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.