John Paul Jones House Now Open 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

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
[Read more…]

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.

Get Sankofa Walking Tour Info Here [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…]

Portsmouth Historical Society Announces 2017 Exhibitions

at Discover Portsmouth and John Paul Jones House.

Back-to-back exhibitions feature Seacoast history, arts & culture

Portsmouth, New Hampshire…Following record-breaking attendance at last year’s acclaimed art exhibitions, Portsmouth Historical Society plans another blockbuster year at Discover Portsmouth and the John Paul Jones House.

four centuries of furniture“Four Centuries of Furniture in Portsmouth” kicks off the 2017 spring season (April 7-June 18) with 50 fascinating works from the colonial and federal periods. This classic exhibition will demonstrate why the fine craftsmanship of Portsmouth artisans is universally respected and sought after. Featured objects in the historic 1810-era Academy Gallery will be drawn from a wide range of private and public collections. Upstairs in the balcony, the exhibition includes unique contemporary works by members of the New Hampshire Furniture Masters. Participants include expert woodworkers Jon Brooks, Jeffrey Cooper, David Lamb, Richard Oedel, and many more. READ MORE…

“Seacoast Sculpture, from Material to Masterwork,” (July 7-October 1). The second major exhibition will focus on works by three renowned locals in three different media–ceramics by Jane Kaufmann, metal sculpture by Sumner Winebaum, and woodworks by Michael Stasiuk. The companion exhibition in the balcony will feature the works of two dozen ceramic sculptors, all members of the New Hampshire Potters Guild. [Read more…]

Four Centuries of Portsmouth Furniture Lecture Series

Portsmouth Historical Society presents this FREE lecture series open to the public. All lectures take place at Discover Portsmouth, 10 Middle Street, Portsmouth, New Hampshire. For information, call 603-436-8433

From Joiner to Cabinetmaker: Early Furniture from the Seacoast

Gerald W.R. Ward and Hollis Brodrick
Thursday April 20, 2017, 5:30-6:30pm
Doors open at 5pm; galleries open during the evening
Gerald W.R. Ward, curator of the exhibition, and noted Portsmouth antiques dealer Hollis Brodrick will present an overview of the show in a brief lecture followed by an informal gallery tour. The evening offers an opportunity for close and in-depth study of several key pieces in the exhibition, particularly those from the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, from several perspectives.
[Read more…]