6th Annual John Paul Jones Jubilee and Auction

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Discover Portsmouth
10 Middle Street, Portsmouth NH

$40 for Members / $50 for Non-Members

Tickets are Non-refundable
*Handling fees may apply to online purchases; you may also purchase tickets by calling 603.436.8433

Buy Tickets Here [Read more…]

Portsmouth Historic Houses Twilight Tour 2019

Tickets good for admission to all 8 houses on evening of tour or during balance of 2019 Season!

Friday, August 9th, 4:30 to 8pm

For just one evening every year, eight of the Portsmouth Historic Houses open their doors and gardens for the Twilight Tour. This year’s special hours are 4:30-8 pm on Friday, August 9. To make this evening memorable, the theme is “Fashion” as each site offers a special focus: brief talks on collections, storytelling, short plays and light refreshments.

Advance tickets: Adults $20, Children: $8
Day-of tickets: Adults $25; Children $10

Available online at Strawbery Banke and in person at the John Paul Jones House, corner of Middle and State Streets, and each of the member museums. To reach any historic site visit www.portsmouthhistoric.org, or visit the Facebook page.

Each ticket is good for one admission to each of the 8 participating houses on the night of the Twilight Tour and are also valid for the balance of the 2019 season for admission to any houses that visitors don’t get to on the night of the Tour. Proceeds of the tour benefit the member sites of the Portsmouth Historic House Associates. [Read more…]

2019 NH Folk Art Lecture Series

Portsmouth Historical Society announces the 2019 Lecture Series for our 2019 exhibitions:

New Hampshire Folk Art: By the People, For the People, and
League of NH Craftsmen Contemporary Folk Art.

The lectures are held at Discover Portsmouth, 10 Middle Street, Portsmouth NH on Thursdays at 5:30 pm.

Tickets to lectures are $5 (members) / $10 (non-members)

Thursday, September 12, 6:15-7:15 p.m.

“Wood-firing Ceramics Then and Now, featuring League of NH Craftsmen Artist Maureen Mills”

Maureen Mills, Associate Professor, Ceramics Institute of Art & Design at New England College.
Purchase Tickets

Maureen Mills, a member of the League of NH Craftsmen included in the Contemporary NH Folk Art exhibition will discuss her work and aspects of wood-firing both historical and contemporary. She will also touch on her training and background, artistic influences and sources and reference examples of her work included in the exhibition.
There will be time for a Q and A session afterwards. The event is an unusual opportunity to meet and learn directly from one of the most important artists and craftswomen working in New Hampshire today.

Call (603) 436-8433 for more information.

Previous Lectures:

Thursday, May 16, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

“Trials and Tribulations: Researching Folk Artists Working in 19th-century New Hampshire.”

Deborah M. Child, art historian, lecturer, and independent curator.
In her illustrated lecture, Child, an independent scholar and resident of Seacoast New Hampshire, will present highlights from her research over the past fifteen years to identify the so-called Borden limner once thought to be Portsmouth-born John Samuel Blunt. She will also explore the careers of other artists passing through New Hampshire such as Rufus Porter and “Mr. Willson of NH” who supplemented his income by counterfeiting money. Her talk will allow for a closer look at some artists represented in the exhibition, such as Porter, and help place all the works in a wider context of nineteenth-century New Hampshire. Child is the author of many publications, including the Sketchbooks of John Samuel Blunt (Portsmouth Athenaeum, 2007), and a regular contributor to Antiques and Fine Art. Samples of her publications may be viewed on www.deborahmchild.com.

Thursday, June 20, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

“Folk Art and American Modernism”

Paul D’Ambrosio, President and C.E.O., Fenimore Art Museum and The Farmer’s Art Museum, Inc., Cooperstown, N.Y.
Paul D’Ambrosio, one of the leading scholars of American folk art and a widely published author, will discuss a crucial nexus between folk art and modern artists of the early twentieth century. Many painters and sculptors of the 1930s, such as Charles Sheeler, Elie Nadelman, Marguerite Zorach, and many others, were attracted to the formal abstract qualities and expressive nature of folk art. Their interest stimulated museums and private collectors to become interested in this material, and the enthusiasm for folk art remains string today. In particular, D’Ambrosio will examine the influence of Hamilton Easter Field and the Ogunquit School in the early collecting of American folk art.

Thursday, July 25, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

“The Micro-Drawings of Rufus E. Patten of Candia”

The New Hampshire Folk Art exhibition includes about a dozen “micro-drawings”—some less than an inch wide—of ships, buildings, landscapes, and other scenes, all done by Rufus E. Patten of Candia, New Hampshire, as a young man in the early nineteenth century. Ward will discuss new research into the life of the little-known Patten, who did not become an artist but enjoyed a career in the military and as a justice of the peace before his death in 1879. He will place his amazing youthful work, now in the noted collection of Craig and Alison Jewett, into the context of folk art, especially as it relates to calligraphy and fine penmanship, and to the concepts of artisanal virtuosity and youthful masterpieces dating back to the medieval period.

Portsmouth Historical Society 101st Annual Meeting

Discover Portsmouth

Tuesday May 7, 2019 5-7pm

at Discover Portsmouth
10 Middle St. Portsmouth NH

With galleries open from 5-6:30pm, Portsmouth Historical Society will hold a business meeting for members from 5-7pm and welcome all those who have been a part of the organization. The meeting will include a review of FY2018, voting on bylaws changes, welcoming new board members and officers, and hearing about plans for the future.

Sign up now as a member and join us on May 7 for refreshments and tour the galleries at Discover Portsmouth featuring New Hampshire Folk Art: By the People, For the People. Free and open to the public. For more information, please call 603-436-8433.

Become a Member

NH Folk Art Exhibition Members Only Opening Reception

NH Folk Art Exhibition 2019 Portsmouth NH

Thursday, April 4, 5:30–7:30pm.
Members: $35 per person

Join us for the opening reception of our newest exhibition, New Hampshire Folk Art: By the People, For the People, curated by Gerald W. R. Ward. Your attendance at this Member event – held prior to our public opening – will support free and reduced admission to the programs of Portsmouth Historical Society.
Music provided by Curt Bessette and Jenn Kurtz.
Delicious appetizers by River House and Atlantic Grill will be served, with refreshments courtesy of Liar’s Bench and South Street & Vine.
Cocktail attire encouraged.
Join Portsmouth Historical Society today and be a part of this incredible evening!
This reception has been generously sponsored by Skinner, Inc., with additional support by Atlantic Grill and River House.

Members Register Here

Not Yet a Member?

Click Here and Join Today!

For tickets and information, or to become a member, call 603-436-8433

New Hampshire Folk Art: By the People, For the People
with Companion Exhibition, Contemporary NH Folk Art, by League of NH Craftsmen

Friday, April 5 – Sunday, September 29, 2019
at the Academy Gallery, Discover Portsmouth
Gerald W.R. Ward, Curator


Folk Art Family Program

Saturday, April 13, 2019, 9:30am – 12pm at Discover Portsmouth.

Free and open to the public.

Cloth Dolls

Folk Art Family Fun Project

Come to Discover Portsmouth to participate in this fun family activity!

We will use simple materials to create these charming cloth dolls.

Get creative and make a doll that is full of personality.

These cloth dolls are decorative or they can add fun to your pretend play at home. This craft was inspired by a project found on BabbleDabbleDo.com.

This activity is best for ages 3-1/2 to 100. Children under the age of 10 must be accompanied by an adult. Stop by anytime between 9:30am and 12pm.

For more information, contact Claire Spollen, Education Coordinator: clair@portsmouthhistory.org or call Discover Portsmouth at 603-436-8433.

Silhouette Portraits at Discover Portsmouth


Saturday April 27, 2019
Silhouette Portraits

To Benefit the Portsmouth Historical Society

Hand-cut by artist Marcella Comerford, these lovely portraits make WONDERFUL GIFTS for Mother’s Day and become family treasures!

All work is done free-hand and even the most wiggly little ones are welcome!

By Appointment at Discover Portsmouth

Sign up online