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Portsmouth Historical Society @ Discover Portsmouth

At each museum on the Experience New Hampshire Heritage Trail, which stretches from Portsmouth to Plymouth and several spots north, east and west, there is something to discover with more than 25,000 items collectively between them. At the Portsmouth Historical Society @ Discover Portsmouth, the discovery is squarely focused on the unique history of Portsmouth.

Now through September 30, visitors will “discover” the work of artist Wendy Turner at the Island Light Exhibition, a 2-story exhibit that provides a 35 year retrospective of her work as well as current pieces.

Light, color and clarity are the focus of Turner’s hyperrealist watercolors, as she applies layer upon layer of delicate color washes to create images that are simultaneously subtle and dramatic. In the last decade Turner has primarily turned to painting in oil, which has resulted in a more expressive, direct style. Still focused on the edge of the ocean, her newer works balance her familiar realism with a love of abstract shapes and energetic brushstrokes.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for people to experience the work of a true master of her craft,” said Executive Director Kathleen Soldati.

At the John Paul Jones House (c.1758) through Columbus Day, visitors can enjoy the exhibit, The Odd and the Elegant, which features a variety of unusual items. Some of these items include extraordinary silver, fans, woodwork, and locally owned ceramics made in China, Europe, England, and North America. There are also a number of “curiosities,” such as an ostrich egg and a seventeenth-century Syrian tile that Soldati remarked “cause one to wonder at their connection to the history of Portsmouth.”

Upcoming exhibits include What Artists Look Like 2016, which opens on Friday, November 4. At this exhibit in which photographer Jay Goldsmith teams up with the Historical Society for the second year, portraits of selected artists will be on display at the Discover Portsmouth Gallery with one or two works of art accompanying each portrait.

For those who prefer to discover Portsmouth while in active motion, Portsmouth Historical Society’s popular historic walking tours leave at 10 am daily and at 5 pm on Fridays. Welcoming more than 30,000 visitors last year alone, Discover Portsmouth also serves as a resource for anyone visiting the area.

“One visitor recently mentioned that our 12-minute video on the history of Portsmouth provided a great overview of the city so we knew where to focus the rest of our time while in the area,” said Soldati. “We are devoted to helping visitors discover Portsmouth history, arts and culture.”

Museums on the Trail include the Aviation Museum, Albacore Park, American Independence Museum, Castle in the Clouds, Lake Winnipesaukee Museum, Libby Museum, Millyard Museum, Museum of the White Mountains, New Hampshire Boat Museum, New Hampshire Farm Museum, Portsmouth Historical Society @ Discover Portsmouth, Remick Country Doctor Museum & Farm, The Belknap Mill, Woodman Museum, and Wright Museum of WWII.