28th Annual Gingerbread House Exhibit

Gingerbread House Contest 2018

November 30- December 22, 2018, Daily 9:30am-5pm (until 8pm on Nov 30th & Dec 1st and 7th)
Discover Portsmouth, 10 Middle Street
Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Open Late Friday December 7, 9:30am-8pm

Please join us for Art Round Town from 5-8pm plus a book signing with Chef Mary Ann Esposito from 5:30-7:30. Meet Mary Ann and view her newest cookbook, Ciao Italia, My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy

Portsmouth Historical Society celebrates Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth with the kickoff party Friday November 30, 2018 5-8pm when visitors will have the first look at the popular Annual Gingerbread House Contest exhibit running until Saturday December 22 in the first floor gallery at Discover Portsmouth located at 10 Middle Street in downtown Portsmouth. Judges awards will be announced at approximately 6pm.
Gingerbread 2018

Vote for your favorite creation for People’s Choice Award!

[Read more…]

A Nineteenth-Century facebook™

Portraits from the Portsmouth Historical Society Collection

Upstairs at
Discover Portsmouth
Open daily, 9:30 to 5pm through December 22, 2018

Portsmouth Historical Society painting collection   Harry M. S. Harlow, William Badger (1930s)  Photo by Ralph Morang

Virtually every historical society has a collection of portraits of local citizens, generally given by descendants of the subject’s family. Over time, these assemblages of paintings become something like a Facebook™ page for the community’s history, giving us a glimpse of life in the past, one person at a time. In addition to providing a recognizable (more or less) likeness of a specific individual and demonstrating the artist’s abilities (or limitations), these portraits are also rich social and cultural documents, attesting to changes in dress and fashion, the presentation of self in everyday life, and other issues.

This installation includes about twenty portraits, principally from the nineteenth century or based on nineteenth-century images, selected from the Society’s collection. An extraordinary group of six portraits of members of the shipbuilding Badger family, along with their family register, occupies the central wall. The images on the side walls are of local men, women and children, including the noted cabinetmaker Langley Boardman. Each provides a glimpse into both an individual and to the conventions of their time.

What will people think of your picture a century or two from now?

TREADWELL, Joseph (attrib.) Badger Portraits 1847-8? *either Anne Maria b. 1818, OR Margaret b. 1832?] Photo by Ralph Morang   TREADWELL, Joseph (attrib.) Badger Portraits 1847-8? [Mrs. Samuel 1798-1848] Photo by Ralph Morang

Rose Labrie, Primitive Artist

Family Skate by Rose Labrie

Family Skate, by Rose Labrie

Discover Portsmouth,
Friday, October 19 – Sunday, December 23.
Richard M. Candee, Curator

Rose Labrie (1916-1986) was a modern “primitive” painter who lived and worked in the Portsmouth area and achieved some notoriety for her nostalgic artwork and her outreach supporting children’s art in the seacoast. This exhibition, drawn from many private and public collections as well as from her descendants, is the first retrospective look at her career that was a significant part of popular culture in the mid twentieth century. [Read more…]

Rose Labrie Story Time

Story Time

Wednesday Mornings From October 24 – December 19
9:45am – 10:30am
Ages 2.5 – 5

Join us for stories, songs, movement and a simple craft on Wednesday mornings. This is inspired by the work of Rose Labrie who advocated childrens creativity through her support of the Prescott Park Arts Festival.

Rose Labrie Story Time Dates:

Wednesday, October 24
Wednesday, October 31
Wednesday, November 7
Wednesday, November 14
Wednesday, November 21
Wednesday, November 28
Wednesday, December 5
Wednesday, December 12
Wednesday, December 19

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 Exhibition Catalogue Available

Gertrude Fiske, American Master

Gertrude Fiske: American Master
with Sisters of the Brush & Palette and Seacoast Masters Today

Softcover, 8¼ x 9, 108 pgs, color & bw, ISBN 978-0-915819-47-8. $35.00
An important contribution to the literature on American art of the early twentieth century. T​he first study of Fiske to appear in decades, this book re-evaluates an often-overlooked but extremely talented American Impressionist painter. Using many unpublished works and new research, Carol Walker Aten and Lainey McCartney give us a fresh look at the career of this strong, independent woman. A complementary essay by Richard M. Candee examines three of Fiske’s contemporaries — Susan Ricker Knox, Margaret J. Patterson, and Anne W. Carleton — and the book concludes with a look at four female artists — Amy Brnger, Donna Harkins, Sydney Bella Sparrow and Pamela duLong Williams— who pursue independent careers in the Seacoast today​.​ Read More and Order Online!

Read more about the Exhibition

This year, look for our Gertrude Fiske note cards, available in our museum shop opening April 1.
Exclusive boxed note cards, Gertrude Fiske: American Master.
Set of 20 cards, 5 each of 4 designs $18.95

Art ‘Round Town 2018

Amy Brnger, Chicken and Sushi Picnic

Amy Brnger, Chicken and Sushi Picnic

First Fridays 5-8pm
April – December
at Discover Portsmouth

About Art ‘Round Town

Portsmouth art galleries celebrate this “inspired, intimate urban community with big city style” by presenting Art ‘Round Town Gallery Walk the first Friday of every month from 5-8pm year round. Portsmouth Historical Society participates in this wonderful event during its open months: from April – December. And as with many of the galleries in town, it uses the monthly event to launch new exhibitions and related programming. Art ‘Round Town fulfills our mission of helping people discover Portsmouth history, arts and culture. Coming up this year: [Read more…]