Museum Lands a Second Grant for Future Permanent Exhibit

Martha’s Vineyard Museum executive director Keith Gorman recently received good news from the National Endowment for the Humanities — the museum has been awarded its second National Endowment for the Humanities grant this year, this one in support of the development of the theme and content in the museum’s future permanent exhibit in its future museum facility.

Treasure Buried Under Decades of Dust; Denniston Treasures Go to Museum

Linsey Lee emerged from what was once the Vineyard’s first African American church last week peeling a respirator from her face. By her count, she had spent more than 150 hours in the Bradley Memorial Church in Oak Bluffs, and the mask stood as a shield between her and decades of dust.

Anonymous Donor Buys Painting for Island Museum


A painting of a well-known Menemsha-based trawler by Heather Neill has been given to the Martha’s Vineyard Museum by an anonymous donor. The eight by four-foot painting, titled Strider’s Surrender, evokes the decline the local fishing industry.

The Quitsa Strider II is owned by respected Island fishermen Jonathan Mayhew. In a move symbolic of the dire state of the local fishing industry, Mr. Mayhew sold his federal permits last year, giving up his license and putting up the vessel itself for sale.

New Chief Curator Is Part Of Museum Reorganization

Bonnie Stacy has been named chief curator at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum.

New Director Aims to Make History Hip

As Island residents go kicking and screaming into the future, the Martha’s Vineyard Museum has always served as a refuge in turbulent times. Here the centuries mingle and Island life never changes. In one room, romantic maritime tableaus etched by idling seamen in the jawbones of sperm whales recall the glory of Martha’s Vineyard’s seafaring past, while in the next gallery the indelible 20th century folk art of Stanley Murphy revels in the workaday triumphs of a rural Island community.

Museum Open House Unveils New Location’s Ample Charms

It’s the most famous Island landmark hardly anyone has ever seen. Built in 1895 as a marine hospital, the old plantation-style manor, with gray shingles, white trim and a sweeping balcony, on its 4.4.-acre hilltop, once commanded a view of Vineyard Haven harbor. At some point over the years the building acquired a white clapboard façade, enhancing its resemblance to Tara in Gone with the Wind. Across the broad lawn, a ring of pine and oak trees grew tall, obscuring the water vistas, and, at the same time, the long deserted building too.

World War II Veterans Exhibit Breaks Free to the Internet

In celebration of the upcoming Veterans Day holiday, the Martha’s Vineyard Museum has launched a new online exhibit sharing the stories of Vineyard World War II veterans.

Those Who Serve: Martha’s Vineyard and World War II, began as an exhibition in the Museum during 2009 and 2010. The exhibit’s popularity resulted in an oral history book curated by Linsey Lee. Short audio excerpts of those interviews have now been put together with archival photos in an online exhibit allowing people all over the world to hear the stories.

Agricultural Society, Polly Hill Join Forces to Buy Vineyard Museum Land


The Martha’s Vineyard Museum is close to selling the West Tisbury land once envisioned as its future home to the neighbors, the Polly Hill Arboretum and the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society.

The sale is likely to be completed by the end of the week, arboretum executive director Tim Boland said. Surveying work was underway and everything was going very positively, he said.

Museum Set to Buy Marine Hospital

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum expects to sign within days a purchase and sales agreement to buy the former Marine Hospital in Vineyard Haven for an undisclosed price.

The purchase of the historic property, perched on a hill above the harbor, would mark a major step in the museum’s long quest to find a new home for its historical collections outside of Edgartown.

Museum executive director David Nathans said yesterday morning he hoped to have a deal completed by week’s end.

Museum Unveils Designs for New Site

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum would restore the former Marine Hospital’s view to Vineyard Haven harbor in its ambitious plan to relocate there, renovating the hospital building to house museum staff and collections, razing a 1938 brick addition, building a new barn-like structure running for exhibition and storage space, paving a 50-car parking lot and clear-cutting the property’s front lawns overlooking the Lagoon Pond, which have become overgrown in recent decades.