“Twilight of American Impressionism: Alice Ruggles Sohier and Frederick A. Bosley”
“Twilight of American Impressionism” showcases the largely unsung talents of Alice Ruggles Sohier and Frederick A. Bosley, two American impressionists working at a time when realistic art was falling out of fashion and abstract art was in vogue. These two artists created works of profound quality and depth in the midst of the rapidly changing inter-war era. Their successes and failures offer insight into the difficulty of coping with rapid societal change, and their work, rarely seen in public since it was first painted, reminds us that great art, while not always trendy, stands the test of time. William Brewster, guest curator and descendant of both Sohier and Bosley, brings his unparalleled knowledge of the two artists to the project.
“Don Gorvett: Working Waterfronts”
“Don Gorvett: Working Waterfronts” presents over sixty works by this famed seacoast master printmaker highlighting the dynamic commercial harbors of the region. As with the artists in “Twilight,” Don Gorvett is a graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Renowned for his imaginative seascapes and “boat portraits,” Gorvett’s work celebrates the mechanical and gritty alongside the serene and picturesque.
Portrait of Sarah H. Drisco March by John S. Blunt
Until now, the Society did not own a painting by the important local artist J.S. Blunt. At a Skinner’s online auction last November, two friends of the Society stepped up to fill that gap and helped us acquire this example. Although it is unsigned, the research of Deborah M. Child (who gave a great lecture for our 2019 “NH Folk Art” exhibition and is a John S. Blunt expert) determined that it appears in Blunt’s manuscript account book as a purchase recorded on June 30, 1821, by Nathaniel Bowditch March (1782-1862), husband of the sitter (and the artist’s landlord on Daniel Street as well).
March, a Portsmouth saddler and merchant whose papers are at the Portsmouth Athenaeum, paid $12 for this image of his wife, Sarah Huntress Drisco March (1780-1844). Her identity is given in an old label on the back that reads in script: “Portrait of Mrs. Sarah H. March / of Portsmouth, New Hampshire / June 18 [illegible] when she was [illegible] years of age / H.P.” Sarah would have been about 41 in 1821. PHS also has a nice trunk with Nathaniel March’s label. Sarah sports a stylish Regency hairdo with ringlets fashionable at the time, and is wearing earrings and an amazing pseudo-Elizabethan, triple-ruffled collar.
Attributed to John S. Blunt (1798-1835), Portrait of Sarah H. Drisco March, 1821. Oil on canvas; unsigned; 30 x 24 in., modern frame. Portsmouth Historical Society; Museum purchase with funds donated anonymously, 2020.
Upcycled Military Tent Bags at the Museum Shop
The crossbody bag seen here is one of many styles and sizes of these upcycled bags available at our Museum Shop. Sturdy and stylish, these purses, totes, and overnight bags are made from durable re-milled and up-cycled military textiles used by the army, covering trucks as tarps or providing shelter as tents.