2015 Call for Entries Gingerbread House Contest

Register by Saturday, November 21st!

Gingerbread House Contest at Discover PortsmouthCall for Entries for the 25th Annual Gingerbread House Contest at Discover Portsmouth that is a feature of Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the city-wide, month-long celebration anchored by The Music Hall and Strawbery Banke Museum.

Entries must be registered no later than Saturday, November 21, 2015 and delivered to Discover Portsmouth on Tuesday or Wednesday, November 24-25th between 10am and 2pm, or on Saturday or Sunday, November 28-29th between 10am and 1pm. Please read the Contest Rules:

Contest Rules

[Read more…]

Thank you for a great year!

Discover Portsmouth is now closed until the Elinor Hooker Williams Tea Talk Series begins on February 7th, 2016.

We are open on the following Sundays, 2 to 4 pm for the Tea Talk Series:
February 7
February 14
February 28
March 6
March 13

* Our Shop will be open during the Tea Talks *

Click Here for 2016 Tea Talk Series Schedule and information.

March 3, 2016:
Illuminating Tarbell

American Impressionist Edmund Tarbell exhibit opens.
Beginning March 3, 2016, Discover Portsmouth will be open to the public daily.

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Shop Local This Holiday Season!

Shop Local, Portsmouth, NHOur shop features unique Portsmouth gifts for everyone on your list.

Everything from locally made toys, jewelry, apparel, art to local books on the history and culture of the seacoast.

We are open 7 days a week 10-5 through December 24th, 2015, with extended hours Friday and Saturday nights until 8pm.

Discover Portsmouth
10 Middle St., Portsmouth, New Hampshire 03801

25th Annual Gingerbread House Contest 2015

Gingerbread 2015 Portsmouth New Hampshire
Discover Portsmouth celebrates Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth, and visitors will have the first look at the popular 25th Annual Gingerbread House Contest exhibit running until Christmas Eve in the first floor gallery.

Created by local businesses, artists, families and kids, the gingerbread houses will be nestled into a winter wonderland surrounded by large format photographs: David J. Murray’s images of Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth and photographs of trains in New Hampshire winters by Andy Dolph.

The exhibition can be seen every day through December 24 from 10am – 5pm with extended hours on Fridays and Saturdays until 8pm.

Vote for your favorite Gingerbread House, until December 18th, 2015!

The public can continue to vote for the best Gingerbread House until December 18th, when the Public Choice Awards will be announced.
The exhibition is free and open to the public at Discover Portsmouth, located at 10 Middle Street. Come see these magical creations and find holiday gifts in the Museum Shop!

Tremendous thanks to our sponsors!


                                    People’s United Bank



Visit the Art Exhibit

In our Upstairs Gallery, visit the exhibit of Jay Goldsmith’s photographs of local artists, along with a selection of their artwork.

Discover Portsmouth
10 Middle St.
Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Dec. 4 Art Round Town, & Chef James Haller’s Birthday

Chef James Haller, Salt & Pepper Cooking, the Education of an American ChefFriday, Dec. 4, 5-8pm, Join in the fun with a birthday and book signing celebration for Chef James Haller, who will be on hand in the Discover Portsmouth shop to sign copies of his newest book, Salt & Pepper Cooking, The Education of an American Chef.

Come and say hello and Happy Birthday!

Salt & Pepper Cooking chronicles Chef Haller’s lifelong journey with food, family, and friends, and how he came to open The Blue Strawbery restaurant on Ceres Street — the restaurant that first put Portsmouth on the map as a fine dining destination.

It’s also a great time to visit our museum shop for some holiday shopping!

Gingerbread House Contest at Discover Portsmouth

Art Round Town, Friday, December 4th, 2015, 5-8pm

The 25th Annual Gingerbread House Contest winners will also be announced.

Discover Portsmouth
10 Middle Street
Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Soldati Named New Discover Portsmouth Director

November 2015

The Portsmouth Historical Society board of trustees announced that Kathleen Soldati has accepted the position of Executive Director, effective immediately. Soldati, who has been serving as Interim Executive Director since mid-June, will take the reins at the John Paul Jones House Museum and Discover Portsmouth.

Kathleen Soldati, Discover Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Kathleen Soldati has been named as Executive Director of the Portsmouth Historical Society and Discover Portsmouth Center. (Photo courtesy of David J. Murray of ClearEyePhoto.com)

A marketing expert, author, singer, and teacher, Soldati has worked with corporations, nonprofits, ad agencies, public TV/radio, and political campaigns. She has produced national and international events for Nelson Mandela and Jane Goodall (with Nancy Vawter), obtained coverage in the New York Times, The Today Show and The David Letterman Show. [Read more…]

Portsmouth Advocates Awards Program 2015

Thursday, November 19, 2015 5:30-7:30pm

Discover Portsmouth
10 Middle Street, Portsmouth, New Hampshire

The Portsmouth Advocates present awards of excellence to owners and architects for restoring the historic integrity of a site; for successful adaptive reuse; commitment to maintenance; or introduction of compatible new design; and in doing so enhancing the city’s unique historic character as an essential part of making Portsmouth a better place to live and work. The 2015 Portsmouth Advocates Awards will be presented Thursday November 19, 2015 5:30-7:30pm at Discover Portsmouth, 10 Middle Street. We will be celebrating achievements in historic preservation over the last five years.


Award Presented to Middle Street Baptist Church Trustees
In recognition of your commitment to historic preservation through the sensitive restoration of the Peirce Mansion cupola.

Award Presented to Book & Bar

In recognition of your commitment to historic preservation through the sensitive interior rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of the Customs House and Post Office.

Award Presented to Mark McNabb and McHenry Architecture
In recognition of your commitment to historic preservation through the sensitive rehabilitation of The Rosa Restaurant.

Award Presented to Portsmouth Music and Arts Center
In recognition of your commitment to historic preservation through the sensitive interior rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of a historic resource.

Award Presented to Donald & Mary Saari
In recognition of your commitment to historic preservation through the continued and consistent maintenance of 72 Summer Street.

Award Presented to Karen Bouffard

In recognition of your commitment to historic preservation through the restoration of 102 State Street.

Award Presented to Kennedy Gallery
In recognition of your commitment to historic preservation through the storefront restoration of 41 Market Street

Arthur J. Gerrier Award
John Grossman (posthumous) for his tireless dedication to preserving historic Portsmouth

John Grossman Award
Chris Greiner. This inaugural award has been created in honor of John Grossman, former Portsmouth Advocates Chair. The award honors an individual who can “make a reality of an organization’s mission and who can bridge the theoretical and the practical.”

About Portsmouth Advocates

Formed in 1980, Portsmouth Advocates was established to “promote the maintenance of the historical and architectural integrity of the structures and cityscape of the City of Portsmouth.” In 2012 Portsmouth Advocates became part of Discover Portsmouth.

If you would like more information, or would like to join us in our efforts, please call 603-436-8433 or send an e-mail to info@portsmouthhistory.org.

For more information on the City of Portsmouth’s Planning Department visit Plan Portsmouth.

NH Film Festival Headquarters 2015

Discover Portsmouth is proud to be the official headquarters of the 15th Annual New Hampshire Film Festival.
Thursday, October 15th, 9:30 am – 6:30 pm
Friday, October 16th, 9:30 am – 6:30 pm
Saturday October 17th, 9:30 am – 6:30 pm
Sunday October 18th, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm

You can stop by the 2015 NHFF Vital Headquarters to purchase or pick up your festival passes, learn about featured films, catch the NHFF Industry Panels, charge your iPhone, or purchase official 2015 NHFF merchandise.

The Provident Bank Box Office is available for passes, and the Mac Edge Internet Café and iPhone Charging Station is available for all festival attendees.

Flatbread and The Juicery Hospitality Suite is available Friday and Saturday 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Artists and press: come here for registration and press interviews.

Upstairs here at Discover Portsmouth is the Olde Port Properties Stage, which presents the NHFF Industry Panels, and APS Lighting Press Office. See the program schedule for sessions and times.

All pass and ticket holders are welcome October 15th, Thursday- 17th, Saturday 9:30 am – 6:30 pm, and October 18th, Sunday 9:30 am – 3:30 pm.

Visit https://nhfilmfestival.com/ for the New Hampshire Film Festival schedule and additional details.

Last Chance to See Unique Scheier Exhibit

Come to the Closing Ceremonies of this wonderful exhibit, Friday, Oct. 2, 5 to 8 pm, Art Around Town in Portsmouth NH.

A84View the Scheier Image Gallery

by J. Dennis Robinson

Their name is pronounced “shire.” And if you have not seen the visually explosive art exhibit by Ed and Mary Scheier, you’re running out of time. The retrospective of their work ends October 2 at Discover Portsmouth.

Be prepared to be surprised. The wildly shaped and colorful pottery and the primitive-style wood sculptures are the product of a famous Seacoast couple. Curiously, they began their lifetime partnership as puppeteers in the rural South before turning to pottery. The independent and prolific team was lured from Virginia to work at the University of New Hampshire in Durham prior to World War II. The goal at the time was to raise the quality of ceramic instruction at UNH. And it worked. The Scheiers took the art world by storm and built an enthusiastic following of collectors and admirers. [Read more…]

Art Around Town, Friday Oct. 2nd, 5 to 8pm

Upstairs at Discover Portsmouth, League of NH Craftsmen and NH Art AssociationThe NH Art Association president, Ree Katrak, will be on hand to speak for the closing evening of the exhibit. The NH Art Association is celebrating its 75th anniversary: “75 Years of Tradition: The Evolving Landscape of Art in New Hampshire.”

Upstairs Retrospectives exhibit

The second floor (or balcony) exhibit provides the regional context for the Scheiers work by focusing on two organizations indispensable to the Scheier’s careers. Ed Scheier was active in the NH Art Association (now celebrating its 75th year) and both Scheiers were employed by the League of NH Craftsmen. The retrospective exhibit’s focus is also on the mid-century years, from 1940 to the late 1960s, when Mary and Ed lived and worked in NH, and explores many of the contemporary artists and craftsmen of their day who belonged to both organizations. [Read more…]