The New Hampshire Historical Society is opening to the public two new exhibitions on Friday, November 6, continuing a long tradition of sharing the state’s history through our rich and diverse museum and library collections. Assembled beginning in 1823, the objects, documents, and photographs that make up the collections of the New Hampshire Historical Society are the best available tools for revealing the changing history of a state and its people to contemporary Americans.
What do objects that have been saved by people over 200 years tell us about a state and its changing values? We all shape meaning from the things around us, just as our ancestors did
Discovering New Hampshire investigates five prominent themes of the state’s history through iconic New Hampshire objects. The first of these themes explores New Hampshire’s identity and the symbols that are at the heart of that identity, from the Old Man of the Mountain to the U.S.S. New Hampshire. The second looks at the ties that bind our communities together, whether those are ties of family, church, civic group, factory, or town. Another theme examines the citizen soldiers, both men and women, who throughout New Hampshire’s history have answered the call to defend their country, a tradition dating back to the minutemen of the colonial era. The state’s political heritage shapes another theme, covering town meetings to presidential primaries. And finally, a fifth theme delves into our relationship with the New Hampshire landscape and how people have explored and enjoyed the state’s natural wonders over the years, whether on walking trails through the Flume or riding the Cog railway to the top of Mount Washington.
From an Abenaki dugout canoe to an early snowmobile, this exhibition shares the history of New Hampshire’s people, places, and events through images and artifacts you can’t see anywhere else.
The second new exhibition, Remembrance and Reality: Landscape Paintings of New Hampshire, explores the changing importance of the landscape in New Hampshire’s history and tells the story of how the state’s natural beauty has attracted and inspired artists, writers, tourists, and entrepreneurs.
New Hampshire’s mountains, seaside, and bucolic rural landscapes have had a profound impact on shaping our views of the state for people both living here and visiting New Hampshire. By carefully selecting what images to capture in their paintings, artists shared their ideas about what should be celebrated and commemorated. The paintings they created enriched people’s sensibilities and enhanced an appreciation of the landscape.
The paintings in this exhibition reveal stories and meanings of New Hampshire, of the 19th-century artists who depicted it, of changing aesthetic and cultural values, and of the consumers, who acquired, owned, and cherished this artwork. Through a selection of 17 diverse landscape paintings the exhibition explores America’s changing values and taste for art through the work of a diverse group of 19th-century painters who chose the scenery of New Hampshire as their subject.
Both exhibitions are open to the public beginning Friday, November 6, 2015, at 9:30 a.m. and during the Society’s regular hours thereafter, Tuesday to Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission is $7 per person with children under the age of 18 admitted for free. Members are admitted at no charge. For more about membership benefits and to become a member, visit nhhistory.org.