“Threads” Talk Tonight

“Threads” Talk Tonight

Featured image: Janet Cass, Reversible Quilted Vest, detail (2019). Photo by Raya on Assignment.

Meet the Artists! 7:30pm via Zoom

Join us this evening for a more in-depth look at how quilts are made, how quilters work, and what inspires artists!

FREE for members
$15 for non-members

Not yet a member? Join now!

Time is Running Out to Register for the Gingerbread House Contest!

Registration closes November 9!

Don’t have any good ideas? This year’s suggested theme Home for the Holidays. Why not recreate your own home or a favorite holiday location?

Check out our Facebook and Instagram feeds for tips, tricks, and inspiration!

Register at www.portsmouthhistory.org/gingerbread

Hats off (and masks on!)
to our Walking Tour Guides!

With only today and tomorrow left in our regular season for historical walking tours, we wanted to take this opportunity to say


to our intrepid walking tour guides who have done such a fantastic job this season. We started off late but ended the season enthusiastically. We couldn’t do it without you!

Joe Distefano • Linda King
Fred Lewis • Lauren Gianino
Elisabeth Sanborn • Alan Cohen
Jeff Thomson • Randy Absher
Richard Candee

Last Chance! 50% Off Voting Merchandise!

All our voting-related merchandise is now 50% off! Curbside pickup and free delivery within a 10-mile radius available! Call 603-436-8433 or email Beth@portsmouthhistory.org to coordinate!

History. Arts. Culture.

Meet the Artists this Thursday Evening

Meet the Artists this Thursday Evening

“Threads” Virtual Lecture with Contemporary Quilters

Thursday, October 29 at 7:30pm
via Zoom

FREE for members
$15 for non-members

Taking Flight by Janet Cass, Prairie Flowers by Ann E. Lamb, and Heart of the Home by Pamela Sue Needham. Photo by Raya on Assignment.

Join us for a selection of short presentations and a Q&A with the exhibitors whose work is on display in the balcony of the Academy Gallery. We’ll talk about quilt guilds, quilting technique, alternative uses for quilting skills, and more!


Have you signed up yet?

We need YOU to participate!

This year, we’re placing gingerbread houses in our Academy Gallery on the ground floor AND on the balcony level AND in storefronts downtown. We need all the holiday cheer we can get! Don’t know where to start? We’ve got tips, tricks, and ideas being posted all the time on our social media accounts! 

Are you interested in participating but don’t know your royal icing from your fondant? Become a sponsor! We’re always looking for more local businesses and individuals to get involved. Contact our Director of Development Judy Loto at 603-570-2492 or by email at judy@portsmouthhistory.org.

Last Call for Walking Tours

The walking tour season ends October 31st! Book one of the last remaining spots before autumn slips awa!

No time until November? You can book a private tour! Email Robinlm@portsmouthhistory.org for all the details.

Annual Report

Our annual meeting, an integral part of being a non-profit organization to benefit the public, was held this past Monday to review the accomplishments of the previous year. If you were unable to attend, you can download the report here:

Get your Holiday Cheer On!

These fun, light-up hats are selling out fast at the Museum Shop. Get yours today! Curbside pickup and delivery within a 10-mile radius upon request! Just reach out to Beth@PortsmouthHistory.org! Members get 10% off!

History. Arts. Culture.

“Color & Comfort: Quilts in Context” TONIGHT!

“Color & Comfort: Quilts in Context” TONIGHT!

“Threads” Lecture at 7:30pm

Our very own Gerald W. R. Ward is talking this evening about the deeper meanings and symbolism of quilts and bedcovers. Join us for what is sure to be a fascinating talk!

Tonight at 7:30 pm via Zoom
Member/Donors: FREE
Non-Members: $15

Get your tickets here!

Jubilee Auction is Turning Heads on Social Media

Eventide by Alastair Dacey is one of more than 100 works of art available in our auction fundraiser

Museum Shop Lives up to “All Things Portsmouth” tagline

Responding to one of the most frequent requests she received from customers, store manager Beth Gross-Santos commissioned original artwork for this exclusive Portsmouth hoodie! Get yours today!

Stop by–brick & mortar or online–and check out all the other cool Portsmouth gear we have available! Umbrellas, t-shirts, water bottles, tea towels, throw pillows…. you name it!

“Threads” Exhibition to Close November 9

The “Threads” exhibition’s last day will be Monday, November 9, but the community quilts will be on display during the annual Gingerbread House Contest until Christmas!

History. Arts. Culture.

Like Us?
Your generosity keeps us going.  
Support our work with your membershipdonation and Museum Shop purchase.

Community Quilts Are on Display!

Community Quilts Are on Display!

We are currently open Friday–Monday, 10am–4pm.
Stop by and visit our safe, comfortable, and spacious gallery and museum shop, and enjoy the “Threads” exhibition and the Community Quilts!

Color & Comfort: Quilts in Context

If you can’t make it in to see the quilts in person, join us for a talk by our own curator of collections, Gerald W. R. Ward, about quilts, their place in our lives, and their meaning.

Quilts and coverlets, in addition to being examples of outstanding needlework and beautiful works of art, have symbolic value and functional purposes.  They hold many meanings for people and have played a central functional role in the domestic interior for centuries. In his talk, Ward will examine some of the symbolic meanings of quilts, and also look at them in the context of the bed chamber, examining them as one element in a constellation of related objects and examining changing patterns and rhythms of life over–and under–the covers.

Thursday, September 24 at 7pm via Zoom
FREE for Member/Donors
$15 for Non-Members

Congratulations to the Winner of our John Paul Jones Jubilee Wine Raffle!

The winner of our fantastic wine raffle was…..(drum roll please)…….none other than the amazingly lucky and totally awesome Sharon Parker!

Thank you to everyone who purchased a wine raffle ticket and entered our contest! The raffle raised more than $1,500 in support of our programs and exhibitions. Thanks as well to the members of the Portsmouth Historical Society Board of Trustees who provided the wine for the raffle.

John Paul Jones Jubilee Auction Showcases Gorgeous and Unique Seacoast Art

Our John Paul Jones Jubilee Benefit Auction, running until 6pm on October 7, 2020, features wonderful works of two- and three-dimensional art, including oil and watercolor paintings, weaving, jewelry, photography, drawing and sculpture, by artists all over the greater Seacoast. The proceeds from each winning bid will benefit equally both Portsmouth Historical Society and the artist—and YOU! This art could be in your home! Or perhaps consider a gift for a wedding, birthday or anniversary. Not here on the Seacoast? No problem! Art can be shipped. 
Bid now! Bid high! And Bid often!

Walking Tours End October 31, So Don’t Delay and Register While You Can!

Our Walking Tours end October 31! Book now to be sure you get a spot. Tours are smaller this year, and all guidelines for the health and safety of our visitors are followed. This is a fantastic way to get out of the house and learn something about Portsmouth!

Private tours can also be scheduled, just call or email Robin Lurie-Meyerkopf, our walking tour manager! For more info on what tours are available and to book tickets, click below!

Like Us?
Your generosity keeps us going.  
Support our work with your membershipdonation and Museum Shop purchase.

Our Museum Shop is Now Online!

Our Museum Shop is Now Online!

“Threads” Talk Tonight!

Above: The center medallion of the “Washington” coverlet, on display in the “Threads” exhibition. Probably made in Bolton, England, ca. 1780; cotton. Portsmouth Historical Society; Gift of Mrs. John F. Tyler (2005.033).

“Coverlets & Counterpanes of New Hampshire: Bedcovers for a New Nation”

Tonight’s talk will focus on that other kind of bedcover popular in New England in the early 19th century, the coverlet. Learn about the luxury furnishings displayed to impress visiting VIPs like George Washington and the marquis de Lafayette, and the artisanal industry of their creation, here in New Hampshire.

Left: Tonight’s speaker, Jennifer Swope, assistant curator of Textile and Fashion Arts at the MFA, Boston.

Jubilee Auction of Local Art

The local artists participating in our online auction have submitted some phenomenal works to the cause! Proceeds from each item auctioned will be split equally between Portsmouth Historical Society and the artist, thus supporting arts in the Seacoast two ways!

Jubilee ticket holders will have exclusive access to our online party, receive a gourmet goodie-bag of snacks for the show, get a sneak preview of the art to be auctioned, and see the “Threads” community quilt unveiled!

Museum Shop Now Has Online Store!

It is with great pleasure that we announce the debut of our online Discover Portsmouth Museum Shop!

Thanks to the hard work and dedication of shop manager Beth Gross-Santos, we now have an online retail establishment with a select number of items available for purchase.

Members can still receive their 10% discount! Keep an eye out for a special email with your discount code!

Anything Planned for the Weekend?

You’ll be surprised what you don’t know about Portsmouth! Our five-star rated walking tours are a great way to get outdoors! Check them out here!

Votes for Women! Jubilee! Zoom Lecture!

Votes for Women! Jubilee! Zoom Lecture!

Annual Jubilee Tickets On Sale Now!!

Annual Fundraiser will Support Local Artists & Portsmouth Historical Society

Our benefit auction through Bidding For Good, featuring more than 50 works of art by local artists, opens to bidding on the evening of September 10th and runs through October 7th. Your winning bid will be split equally between the Portsmouth Historical Society and each artist! Our exclusive, online Jubilee program will have a VIP preview of the auction, the unveiling of the “Threads” Community Quilt, music, and more! Plus, everyone who purchases a ticket gets a take-out goodie-bag with delicious treats from Wood Stove Kitchen, Port City Pretzels, and Naughty Good Bites!
A huge thanks to our event sponsors Ashton & Company, P.A., Lynne Joyce/Tate & Foss Sotheby’s International Realty, Westerly Portsmouth, Southport Printing, and Seacoast Flash!

More information at www.portsmouthhistory.org/jubilee! Get your tickets by clicking here! And don’t forget to get your wine raffle tickets, too!

Not Yet a Member?
Join today and receive discounted admission to programs, events, and exhibitions, and receive a 10% discount in the Museum Shop.

What Would Washington Sleep Under?

Coverlet (George Washington coverlet), detail. Probably Bolton, England, ca. 1780; cotton. Portsmouth Historical Society; Gift of Mrs. John F. Tyler (2005.033).

Zoom with us Thursday, August 27 at 7:30pm for a special lecture with Jennifer Swope, Assistant Curator of Textile and Fashion Arts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In her talk, “Coverlets & Counterpanes of New Hampshire: Bedcovers for a New Nation,” Swope will discuss some of the oldest objects on display in the “Threads” exhibition, and their brushes with colonial fame.

FREE for members
$15 for non-members
Get your tickets here!


Celebrate the centennial of women’s suffrage with unique crafts and souvenirs available at our Museum Shop!

Obama: an Intimate Portrait

This stunning SAACC exhibition is accessible inside the Discover Portsmouth Welcome Center by advance ticket purchase. Get your tickets here!