Museum Receives Record Grant to Bring Archives Online

Martha’s Vineyard Museum has received a $293,900 grant to make detailed descriptions of its collections searchable online, museum officials announced this week. The grant is the largest in the museum’s 90 year history, and builds on preservation work that has been supported by Community Preservation grants from five Island towns.

P Is not for Art Gallery

Plein Air is in the air. For the month of October the Martha’s Vineyard Museum and Arts Martha’s Vineyard are teaming up to celebrate creativity done outdoors. During the month various museum properties will be open for Island artists for a series of plein air sessions.

Martha's Vineyard Historical Society Plans to Move Headquarters to West Tisbury

The keepers of Vineyard history are leaving the heart of the whaling community for a new home up-Island.

The Martha's Vineyard Historical Society this week announced the signing of a purchase and sale agreement for the Littlefield family's Scarecrow Farm, 25 acres tucked between the Agricultural Hall and Polly Hill Arboretum in West Tisbury.

The decision to abandon much of their campus on School street and leave Edgartown did not come easily for a 10-member board of directors that spent the last year assessing the society's current performance and future needs.

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.