Summer Spotlight

John Paul Jones House opens doors to centuries of Seacoast history, artistry

May 30. 2018 12:39PM
The Georgian mansion known as the John Paul Jones House was built in 1758 for sea captain and merchant George Purcell. Open to the public since 1920 as a house museum, the grand structure bears the name of the celebrated naval hero of the American Revolution who is thought to have rented a room there in 1777, when the Portsmouth site was a boarding house run by the widow Purcell. 

PORTSMOUTH — The John Paul Jones House Museum — the yellow Georgian mansion at the corner of Middle and State streets — has opened for the season.

The National Historic Landmark, which includes the 1758 home, its gardens and collections representing four decades of Seacoast history, is open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

New this year is a special exhibition of art of many types by 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. The exhibit is a complement to Discover Portsmouth’s well-received exhibitions “Gertrude Fiske: American Master” and “Seacoast Masters Today.”

Those shows are designed to highlight achievements of women in the traditional arena of academic painting from the early 20th century to the present.

In addition to paintings, works on paper and miniatures, “Overlooked and Undervalued” features quilts, needlework, bead work, clothing, painted china, and other objects created by women for both aesthetic expression and commercial employment.

The John Paul Jones House is named after the famous colonial naval captain who was a tenant there in 1781.

Admission to the site is $5 for Portsmouth residents, seniors and retired members of the military and $6 for others. There is no fee for Portsmouth Historical Society members, children younger than 12 and active military and their families and AAA members.

For more information on the John Paul Jones House and Discover Center events, go to

ArtsHistoryPortsmouthPhoto Feature

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