May is Membership Month!

Portsmouth Historical Society Membership Month

Join a community that cares about the history, arts and culture of the Portsmouth region.

By becoming a member you will:

Keep all our exhibitions free
Bring History to all of Portsmouth’s 3rd grade
Preserve the character of Portsmouth’s West End

Join or Renew your Membership Today!

Everyone who joins or renews during the month of May will be entered into a drawing for a private Curator’s Tour through our beautiful art galleries at Discover Portsmouth. Guests will enjoy an insider’s view of our nationally-acclaimed exhibition Gertrude Fiske: American Master for up to eight people. Date and time TBD by both parties.

Gertrude Fiske: American Master Symposium I

Study for Study-Fiske

Gertrude Fiske, 1930. Photo, Paul Juley 1880-1975).

Please join us for a symposium organized by the Portsmouth Historical Society.

Gertrude Fiske: Her Art and Her World.

Saturday, June 16, 9am-3pm, coffee, refreshments, and lunch provided.

[Read more…]

John Paul Jones House 2018 Exhibition

John Paul Jones House     John Paul Jones House Women     John Paul Jones House Women

Portsmouth Historical Society announces John Paul Jones House Museum & Garden, 1758 National Historic Landmark

Open for the season!

Memorial Day, Monday, May 28 – Columbus Day, Monday, October 8, 2018
& Veterans Day, Sunday, November 11, 2018
Daily 11-5

There’s a fabulous treasure waiting to be found on the corner of Middle and State Streets in downtown Portsmouth. That beautiful yellow Georgian mansion is the John Paul Jones House Museum and Gardens and it is waiting for you to visit and discover all it has to offer. Portsmouth Historical Society announces that the John Paul Jones House Museum and Gardens, a National Historic Landmark, will open for the 2018 season on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28. Open seven days a week from 11 am-5 pm, the landmark remains open until Columbus Day, Monday, October 8, with special one-day opening on Veterans Day, Sunday, November 11, 2018, when admission is free. [Read more…]

Gertrude Fiske curator Lainey McCartney Interviewed on NHPR

Lainey McCartney
Listen to Lainey McCartney discuss Gertrude Fiske with Virginia Prescott in the latest episode of NHPR’s Word of Mouth! Lainey’s segment runs from minutes 35 through 41.

NHPR Word-of-mouth

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


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…]

Lunchtime Exhibition Tour – Free and Open to the Public

For ten select Fridays in 2018, visitors to Discover Portsmouth are invited to a special gallery tour of Gertrude Fiske: American Master. Join our exhibition curator or curator trained guides on an in-depth look at the remarkable art of Gertrude Fiske.

Friday, May 4, 2018, 12:00-12:45pm
Friday, May 18, 2018, 12:00-12:45pm
Friday, June 1, 2018, 12:00-12:45pm
Friday, June 15, 2018, 12:00-12:45pm
Friday, June 29, 2018, 12:00-12:45pm
Friday, July 13, 2018, 12:00-12:45pm
Friday, July 27, 2018, 12:00-12:45pm
Friday, August 10, 2018, 12:00-12:45pm
Friday, August 24, 2018, 12:00-12:45pm
Friday, September 21, 2018, 12:00-12:45pm

Lunchtime Exhibition tours have limited space.