Free Lecture: Collecting Portsmouth Furniture within a Changing Marketplace

Harrold Armchair

Armchair. Attributed to Robert Harrold (w. 1765–92). Portsmouth, 1765–75. Mahogany. H. 37½ in., W. 28 in., D. 18½ in. Private collection. Photo by Ralph Morang

Thursday May 18, 2017, 5:30 to 6:30pm

with Brock Jobe, Professor of American Decorative Arts Emeritus, Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library, Winterthur, Delaware

Since the Bush recession of 2008 and even before, the market value of much antique furniture has plummeted. What happened? Why did it happen? What does the future hold? Brock Jobe will bring his unparalleled knowledge of the field to bear on a review of the antiques scene of the past two decades and offer hope to those of us who collect or are simply interested in early American furniture, especially from the Portsmouth area.
[Read more…]

New History Walking Tour Focuses on Portsmouth Women

Tour Guide Lauren Gianino in front of Celia Thaxter portrait inside Portsmouth Public Library.

Tour Guide Lauren Gianino in front of Celia Thaxter portrait inside Portsmouth Public Library.

The Portsmouth Women Tour leaves from Discover Portsmouth, 10 Middle Street, at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday May 24, June 28, August 23, September 27, and October 25, 2017.

Get Info & Book Online
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Sankofa Guided Walking Tours 2017

presented by the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire, Inc. and the Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail. The PBHT, now under the umbrella of the BHTNH, was founded in 1995 to preserve, celebrate and honor the history and culture of the African-American community in Portsmouth and the New Hampshire region. With distinctive bronze plaques that identify the community from its colonial-era African Burying Ground to the modern Civil Rights Movement, the Trail is proud to serve as a model across the country on what it means to raise public awareness and appreciation for a region not known for its Black history.

Join the Sankofa Scholars for an authentic experience as they share insights into the rarely explored stories of Africans and their descendants, their spaces and traditions that make Portsmouth unique.

Special Topics (Saturdays May 13 – September 30) include:

  • Let Freedom Ring: Resistance, Abolition and Civil Rights
  • Creating Community: White Enterprise and Black Society
  • Out of the Shadows: Enslavement and Emancipation
  • Port of Entry: Boys and Girls for Sale
  • Backyards and Cellar Holes
  • Ona Marie Judge, Freedom Seeker

Unless otherwise noted, all tours will start at 2 p.m. at the Liberty Flagpole on Marcy Street, across from Strawbery Banke Museum and ends at 3:30 pm at the site of the African Burying Ground and Memorial Park. For more information and to register please visit:

Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire

Sankofa Scholars TM are the trained tour guides for all Sankofa Tours, an educational program created by the Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail.

Black Heritage Trail Self-Guided Walking Tours

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…]

Katherine (“Kitty”) S. Clark Tribute Exhibition

Kitty Clark exhibition

Upstairs at Discover Portsmouth
Through Saturday July 22, 2017

Tucked upstairs in an intimate new gallery at Discover Portsmouth is a wonderful tribute to artist Kitty Clark (1940-2017). An engaged, enthusiastic member of the Seacoast, Katherine Clark was born in Providence, R.I and earned a BA from Wilson College outside Philadelphia. Continuing her family’s tradition of women artists, Kitty earned a certificate in painting from the New Hampshire Institute of Art in 2014 and exhibited often at the New Hampshire Art Association. In 2005 Kitty was a founding member of the Pastel Society of New Hampshire, acting as secretary for the first two years, participating in its annual national juried exhibit “It’s Pastel” at Discover Portsmouth – Portsmouth Historical Society since 2008, and serving as their Chairman of Exhibitions in 2014 and 2015. A Proprietor of the Portsmouth Athenaeum since 2007, Kitty served on the Board of the Athenaeum from 2009 to 2012, chaired the Exhibits Committee, and exhibited regularly in its Proprietor’s show, Kitty also documented a 2014 Athenaeum retrospective exhibition of artist Norma Bernstein Smith for American Art Review. Visit the Kitty Clark Tribute Exhibition upstairs at Discover Portsmouth, adjacent to “200 Years of Portsmouth Athenaeum: Collect, Preserve, Share.”

“My work makes use of old family photographs: parents, siblings, both as children and adults. The faces are, in many instances, intentionally out of focus – the blur between experience and memory. Using oil and pastel, I often paint with speed, as trying to grasp onto the ‘something’ that is both real, yet fleeting, unwilling to be fixed in time and space. My palette is emotive, referencing time and passing. My practice is investing in honoring the past. My paintings are memories made visible.” – Kitty Clark, 2014

Shop Portsmouth! Book signing in our Museum Shop

Portsmouth Through Time

Join Discover Portsmouth during Shop Portsmouth Day, Sunday, June 4th!

We will welcome Elizabeth C. Jewell and her new book, Portsmouth Through Time 1 to 4 pm.

The Galleries are always free and open to the public. [Read more…]

Seacoast Sculpture from Material to Masterwork

Seacoast Sculpture

Featuring the work of Sumner Winebaum, Jane Kaufmann and Michael Stasiuk

With Sublime Mud! New Hampshire Potters Guild Biennial Show

Friday, July 7 – Sunday, October 1, 2017
Members Opening Gala, Thursday, July 6, 2017, from 5-7:30 pm

Buy Tickets Here

Organized by Allison Galliher, Lainey McCartney and Adam Brooks, with
The New Hampshire Potters Guild

Discover Portsmouth Highlights Three Master Sculptors

Metal, ceramics, wood — three renowned seacoast sculptors working in three materials are the focus of the latest groundbreaking exhibition at Discover Portsmouth. “Seacoast Sculpture from Material to Masterwork” (July 7- October 1) unites the career work of master artists Sumner Winebaum, Jane Kaufman, and Michael Stasiuk in the historic Academy Gallery at 10 Middle Street, Portsmouth. A companion show in the Balcony Gallery—“Sublime Mud!”–features work by over two dozen members of the NH Potters Guild. A lecture series accompanies the dual exhibitions, plus special free Saturday morning sculptural workshops for kids and a bonus meet-the-artist Sunday event. [Read more…]

Call for Art 2017

“What Artists Look Like 2017”

Submissions will be accepted through Wednesday, May 31, 2017

For details call 603-436-8433 or email callforart@portsmouthhistory.org (see below for guidelines)
Online Submission Form

Portsmouth Historical Society is now accepting submissions for its third annual “What Artists Look Like” exhibition. Photographer Jay Goldsmith is once again teaming up with the Society to host this widely popular exhibition. The selected artists will be photographed by Goldsmith in their studios. The portraits will be on display at the Academy Gallery at Discover Portsmouth from November – December 2017. All chosen artists will have two works of art accompanying their portrait. 3-d art is encouraged. What is your art? [Read more…]

Four Centuries of Furniture in Portsmouth

—with the NH Furniture Masters

Friday, April 7 – Sunday, June 18, 2017, at Discover Portsmouth.

Members Opening Gala: Thursday April 6, 2017, 5-7:30pm (More Info Here)
Exhibition Catalogue

An accompanying exhibition catalogue has been generously underwritten by Craig & Alison Jewett, and the Jewett Family. For more information, please call 603-436-8433; or purchase online.

Organized by Gerald W.R. Ward and Lainey McCartney, with the NH Furniture Masters

Portsmouth Historical Society is preparing dual exhibitions for the spring of 2017 to celebrate and document the important history of furniture in Portsmouth during the past four centuries, and to present outstanding work by some of today’s premier woodworkers. [Read more…]

200 Years of Portsmouth Athenaeum: “Collect, Preserve, Share”

Opening reception Friday, May 5, 2017 5-8pm, Art ‘Round Town

on display daily at Discover Portsmouth from Friday, May 5 – through Friday, September 1, 2017

Portsmouth Athenaeum Bicentennial logo

Athena, goddess of wisdom, inspired the creation of the Portsmouth Athenaeum in 1817. An exhibit honoring and demystifying the group’s bicentennial is on display daily at Discover Portsmouth from Friday May 5 – through Friday September 1. (Courtesy photo)

Portsmouth, New Hampshire: For 200 years people in Portsmouth have been asking the same two-part question –What is an athenaeum and why do we need one? A free exhibition at Discover Portsmouth (May 5 – September 1) tackles these topics in honor of the 200th anniversary of the Portsmouth Athenaeum. The subtitle of the bicentennial display — “Collect, Preserve, Share”– tells much of the story. [Read more…]