Discover Portsmouth Exhibits, Programs & Events

Jane Chapin exhibit to raise funds for Special Operations Warrior Foundation & Pease Greeters

chapin2A new exhibit at Discover Portsmouth features the art of Jane Chapin. The Land of the Free exhibit will raise funds and awareness of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation and the Pease Greeters.

“I fell in love with America again. The realization of my freedom on the road reawakened me to the debt I owed our veterans, past and present. I began thinking of the paintings as symbols of the land they had fought to defend. I wanted to thank those who allowed me the privilege to wander freely across this great country and do what I love…”

Paintings by nationally recognized artist, Jane Chapin will be on view from October 4- December 22, 2014. A reception with the artist will be held at 5:30 on October 22nd.

Jane Chapin’s Land of the Free project began in 2007 with her painting journey across America. Chapin wrote “The more ground I covered, the more I realized how blessed my life was, and how lucky I was to be born into this time and place. The realization of my freedom on the road reawakened me to the debt I owed our veterans, past and present.” Jane realized the farms and towns she painted on the trip were the home of American veterans, our country’s heroes. Jane documented her trip and her artwork in Land of the Free A Painter’s Chronicle of Our 50 States & Their Heroes and chose Special Operations Warrior Foundation as the beneficiary. The exhibit will include all 50 state paintings from Chapin’s book Land of the Free. It will also include new works Jane has created from the studies and photos she took on her 3 year journey.

Sales of the paintings and the Land of the Free book benefit the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. The SOWF began in 1980 after a daring attempt to rescue 53 American hostages in Iran, which ended in tragedy when a helicopter and C-130 aircraft collided. Eight died and they left behind 17 children. A battlefield promise to take care of those 17 children became the noble cause of the SOWF. The foundation provides full financial assistance for a post-secondary degree from an accredited two or four-year college, university, technical or trade school, as well as educational and family counseling to the surviving children of Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps special operations personnel who lose their lives in the line of duty. The foundation also provides immediate financial assistance to severely wounded and hospitalized special operations personnel.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Chapin’s paintings will be donated to Pease Greeters. The Pease Greeters are a group of local patriotic Americans who welcome men and women in our Armed Forces who pass through Pease International Airport either on their way to or their way home from Afghanistan, Iraq, or other conflicts. The Pease Greeters have met over 600 flights and welcomed over 170,000 troops since 2005 providing food, drinks, and other goodies along with the use of free telephones so troops can call loved ones anywhere in the world.

The Portsmouth Historical Society is a nonprofit organization that operates a museum and visitor center in downtown Portsmouth, publishes books, manages the Black Heritage Trail and advocates for historic preservation. We tell Portsmouth stories and our mission is to provide a central city location where, in cooperation with other groups, we can introduce, interpret, and stimulate the study of Portsmouth history.

Included images by Jane Chapin top to bottom: Pure Folly, 18” x 21” and Pick Your Own, 8” x 10”

For additional information, contact:
Allison Galliher
(603) 436-8433

2014 Vintage Christmas Gingerbread House Contest!

PrintHomemade gingerbread creations will be on display daily for the public throughout December during Vintage Christmas. Get your family and friends together and craft your own beautiful creation!

Entries must be registered by Tuesday, November 25. To register, send an email with your name, address, daytime and evening phone, email address and category (Family, Youth Group, Adult or Business/NPO) to Karin Scott at


The contest is open to all entrants in four categories:
• Adult (open to individuals or groups 18 and over)
• Family (children under 18 working with or without adults)
• Youth Group (Scout, church, 4H, etc)
• Business/ Nonprofit

Entries must be delivered to Discover Portsmouth between 1 – 5 pm on Monday, December 1st.

Please be sure the base is durable and can be moved. Plywood, cutting boards, and cookie sheets make good bases. No cardboard.

Electric lighting is permitted (no battery lighting). Please be sure power cord extends at least 4’ from base in order to reach power supply.

Entries must be made of edible materials, excluding base and any lighting.

Also remember to name your entries prior to arrival.

By entering the contest, you authorize the Portsmouth Historical Society to use images of you and your completed work in promotional materials.

One prize will be awarded in each category. A panel of community volunteers will judge the winners. Winners will be announced on December 20th at 5PM.

Entries must be picked up on Sunday, December 21st between 10 am & 2 pm. Any houses unclaimed after that day will be disposed of.

Helpful Hints

Consider a unique theme for your house. Past favorites have depicted Plains Indians tipis, farms, houses from books or fairy tales, lighthouses, and local landmarks.

Some houses look beautiful with a little interior lighting. Think about incorporating small bulb fixtures or string lights. Do not use battery-powered lights; batteries cannot power the houses long enough for the display. There will be power available but you must note that you need power when registering your entry.

Be creative! Browse in the grocery store or candy shop for sweet inspiration. Look for unusual colors and shapes of candy, and don’t rule out other foods such as cereals, mints, dried fruits, and cookies.

Is baking from scratch too much trouble? Make the project less fussy by purchasing a ready-made gingerbread house kit, easily found in craft, grocery, and party stores. No, it isn’t cheating! Ready-made houses are simple, but you can put extra creativity into the decorating.

Good Luck and Have Fun!

Discover Historic Landmarks with the Portsmouth Advocates

rockingham_interiorDon’t miss your chance to discover Portsmouth’s historic landmarks sponsored by Portsmouth Advocates, part of the Portsmouth Historical Society. A series five exclusive tours lead by Richard M. Candee, author of Building Portsmouth, will explore this city’s intriguing architectural landscape. All tours begin at 1 PM at Discover Portsmouth located at 10 Middle Street. The cost is $5 for members of the Portsmouth Historical Society and $10 for non-members. Memberships are available in the Visitor Center of Discover Portsmouth before the tour or online. Limited spaces are available. Please call Discover Portsmouth at (603) 436-8433 for reservations.
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A Visitor Center. A Community Center. A Nonprofit Hub.

Discover Portsmouth Center

We are dedicated to increasing public understanding and enthusiasm for local history. Our trustees, staff, sponsors, and members believe strongly that the uniqueness of Portsmouth is defined by the city’s past. Our mission is to provide a central location where, in cooperation with other groups, we can introduce, interpret, and stimulate the study of Portsmouth history.