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  • John Paul Jones House Thank You and Open Veterans Day

    PORTSMOUTH- .It’s a lot quieter on the corner of Middle and State streets in downtown Portsmouth now.  Throughout most of the spring and summer, people were constantly in and out of the John Paul Jones House, the 1758 Georgian mansion located there.  While guests enjoyed the historic architecture, exhibition, and stories of the naval hero John Paul Jones, behind the scenes, a small army of volunteers and professionals worked quietly to restore, repaint, repoint, and repair the property, to keep the house and gardens looking their best.

    In 2019, this effort was spearheaded by the Rotary Club of Portsmouth, whose financial support, local contacts, and hands-on work made it all possible.  Dozens of club members volunteered to handle the repairs and repainting of interior ceilings and the exterior fence, as well as work on the gardens, foundations, and other maintenance needs. 

    A grant from the Thaxter Foundation and a generous in-kind donation by Sash and Solder allowed for the completion of a multi-year project to restore and re-glaze the windows of the John Paul Jones House.
    Donations from Budget Blinds and Secure Planning provided new window shades  to protect historic objects and interiors.

    Finest Painting, Star Island Builders, and local craftsman Jon Wyckoff made repairs to the fence and exterior walls of the buildings.

    Portsmouth Historical is especially grateful to the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) for their substantial matching grant in support of this, and other important historic structures throughout the state of New Hampshire.

    Visitors have one more chance this season to see all the enhancements that have been made to the house and grounds over the last year.  The John Paul Jones House Museum and Gardens will have a special one-day opening on Veterans Day, Monday, November 11, 2019, 11am to 3pm and admission is free.  

    “It really does take a village to maintain a historic house,” said Executive Director, Brian LeMay.  “We’re grateful for the support of so many wonderful people in the community who have helped us get the house open, and have helped us care for it throughout the season. I hope people will stop by on November 11 to enjoy the house and see the result of the work that everybody has done.”

    November 11 will also be the last day to see the special exhibition of works of art by many types 0f women from the Seacoast area.  Titled “Overlooked and Undervalued: Three Hundred Years of Women’s Art from the Seacoast,” the exhibition is organized by Gerald W. R. Ward and Lainey McCartney. “This historic house is filled with collections from four centuries of Portsmouth’s history,” observed Ward.  “In addition to several galleries devoted to John Paul Jones, we have an exhibit on the Russo-Japanese Peace Treaty, signed in Portsmouth in 1905, and a special exhibition of art by women from the Seacoast.” 
    Our sponsors

    • LCHIP (Land and Community Heritage Investment Program)
    • Rotary Club of Portsmouth
    • Rosamond Thaxter Foundation
    We are also grateful to the entire community of donors, tradespeople, volunteers and guests, whose support helps keep the John Paul Jones Historic House Museum looking good inside and out, including: Liberty Mutual, the Portsmouth Garden Club and Portsmouth High School, Finest Painting, Ray Souriolle, Sherwin Williams, Tom Driscoll of Sash & Solder, Ian Kaner of Budget Blinds, Ed Mallon, Jon Wyckoff, Michael Kuchtey of Kuchtey Electric, John Wastrom, Upright Fence, Jim Golter of J. Golter Plumbing & Heating, Patrick Driscoll of Star Island Builders, the Japan Society, the McElroy family, the Hibbard family, and our Buildings and Grounds Committee.
    About the exhibition, ‘Overlooked and Undervalued’

    Throughout history, women’s art (and contributions by women in all fields) has often been “’overlooked and undervalued,’” regarded as inferior to art created by men, or relegated to the world of decorative household crafts.  Nevertheless, working within these confines, and often coping with the demands of child-bearing and child-rearing, women have created important works of art, broadly conceived, and often notable for great technical skill and inventive approaches.
    This exhibition examines some of the myriad forms of female artistic production, both professional and amateur, in the Portsmouth area during the last few centuries.
      In addition to paintings, works on paper, and miniatures, this show also explores quilts, needlework, beadwork, clothing, painted china, and other objects created by women over three centuries for both aesthetic expression and commercial employment. 
    About the Portsmouth Historical Society
    Portsmouth Historical Society is a nonprofit public history organization that explores the significance of the history and culture of Portsmouth, as well as of the larger world beyond in which Portsmouth has played a significant role. PHS operates the Discover Portsmouth Welcome Center and the Portsmouth Academy Gallery, both located at 10 Middle Street in downtown Portsmouth, and also the John Paul Jones Historic House Museum, at 43 Middle Street. Discover Portsmouth and the Portsmouth Academy Gallery are open all year, seven days a week, and the John Paul Jones House is open Memorial Day through Columbus Day. For more information, call 603-436-8433, or visit www.portsmouthhistory.org