Discover Portsmouth Exhibits, Programs & Events

John Paul Jones House Opens May 29th with The Odd & The Elegant Exhibition.

John Paul Jones House 2016     Portsmouth Historical Society     Portsmouth Historical Society

Open for the 2017 season

Monday, May 29 to Columbus Day, Monday, October 9, 2017
and Veterans Day, Saturday, November 11, 2017
Daily 11-5

New this year are renovations to the historic home, and the return of a special exhibition entitled The Odd & the Elegant, curated by Gerry Ward and Lainey McCartney.

Gerry Ward, curator, said, “It is a great pleasure to open the doors of the John Paul Jones House for the summer season. Once again, our visitors will have access to this grand Georgian mansion, built in 1758 and filled with collections pertaining to four centuries of Portsmouth’s history. This year, in addition to the several galleries devoted to John Paul Jones, the Russo-Japanese Peace Treaty signed in Portsmouth in 1905, Portsmouth’s maritime history, and local paintings and decorative arts, we are again featuring a special exhibition of amazing objects ‘discovered’ in storage, treasures that rarely see the light of day.” [Read more…]

John Paul Jones 270th Birthday Party

John Paul Jones House

Save the Date!

Sunday, July 9, 2017 1-4pm

John Paul Jones House, National Historic Landmark, 43 Middle Street, Portsmouth, New Hampshire

free admission, house tours, music with Great Bay Sailor,
family fun, refreshments

Father of US Navy:
“I have not yet begun to fight!”

Portsmouth, New Hampshire… Always wondered what that beautiful yellow mansion was on the corner of Middle and State Streets in downtown Portsmouth? Always wanted to come into the gardens, peek inside the house but haven’t put that on your calendar yet? Now’s your chance. On Sunday July 9 at 1pm, the Portsmouth Historical Society, which runs Discover Portsmouth and which saved the John Paul Jones House in 1917, is hosting a free 270th birthday party (born July 6, 1747) for the father of the US Navy, who spoke the immortal words, “I have not yet begun to fight!” [Read more…]

Wendy Turner’s New Book Available

Wendy Turner Island Light

Wendy Turner – Island Light,

Carl Little, with contributions by Catherine Armsden and Mekeel McBride
Portsmouth Marine Society Publication 36
Hardcover with jacket, 112 pages, 10 x 12, full color throughout
$40.00 ISBN: 978-0-915819-44-7
Order Online

Wendy Turner’s paintings of the Maine and New Hampshire coast, from the Schoodic Point to the Isles of Shoals, done over a period of thirty-five years, demonstrate the range and talent of this artist who lives and works in Kittery Point, Maine.  While often based on the plants, water, rocks, sky, and sea life of the Seacoast in terms of their subject matter, her watercolor and oil paintings have an ineffable quality that elevates them from depictions of nature to transcendent and sublime works of art. This book follows her work through various transitions in her career, starting with her delicate watercolor images of tide pools.  Over time, her focus moved from images taken along the beach, to beautiful garden studies, and then moving on to her large tour-de-force rock and wave paintings. [Read more…]

New Book Explores the Life, Art and Process of Edmund C. Tarbell

Illuminating Tarbell is a unique two-part book devoted to the life and legacy of Edmund C. Tarbell, one of the major American Impressionist painters and the leader of the Boston School. Although often most closely associated with Boston, Tarbell maintained a home and studio in New Castle, New Hampshire, for more than thirty years and had an especially close relationship with this beautiful area.

Illuminating Tarbell: Life and Art on the Piscataqua and Legacy in ActionThis book, published to accompany an exhibition at the Portsmouth Historical Society, illustrates and discusses many of his principal works, some never published before and several recently conserved. Based on new research into the holdings of the Tarbell Charitable Trust and other sources, Jeremy G. Fogg and Christopher Volpe examine Tarbell’s career, emphasizing the importance of family and place to his artistic vision. Read more…

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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.