Historical Society Moves Ahead with $25 Million Building Plan
James Kinsella

Historical Society Moves Ahead with $25 Million Building Plan

By JAMES KINSELLA

The Martha's Vineyard Historical Society is pursuing an ambitious plan to triple its exhibition and storage space in a project that could cost about $25 million.

Society executive director Matthew Stackpole yesterday said that, if all goes according to plan, construction of the society's new museum could begin on its property in West Tisbury in 2009, with an opening in June 2010.

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Keith Gorman Takes Up Museum Director Role

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum has named Dr. Keith Gorman, the museum’s director of programs and archivist and librarian, to the new position of museum director.

With the creation of the new position, Mr. Gorman will be responsible for the museum’s operations, programs, staff, capital campaign, and the proposed museum move from Edgartown to West Tisbury.

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Museum to Decide: Old School, West Tisbury or Just Stay Put?
Sam Bungey

The future setting of the Martha’s Vineyard Museum is the subject of a meeting tonight of its board of directors. The 26-member board will discuss whether to continue with an ambitious $27 million capital plan to relocate the museum to West Tisbury, or to move operations to the Edgartown school. Alternatively, the board could scrap both proposals and stay put at its original campus on the corner of School and Cooke streets in Edgartown.

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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.

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Anonymous Donor Buys Painting for Island Museum
Sam Bungey

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.

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

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.

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Museum Manages Operating Deficit
Sam Bungey

In its sixth year of a capital campaign, the Martha’s Vineyard Museum is carrying an operating deficit from 2007 as it considers a different location for a future museum campus.

Keith Gorman, executive director of the museum since January of this year, has taken control of the nonprofit business at a difficult time. Determined to avoid a repeat financial performance in 2008, he is also presiding over a reassessment of the campaign to expand the museum which began in 2002 with a $27 million price tag and is currently undergoing a period of major reassessment.

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Martha’s Vineyard Museum Appoints a New Director

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum has named David Nathans, of Princeton, N.J., as its new director. He will take over from Keith Gorman in late August.

Mr. Nathans, the founder and director of the Sydney Company, a marketing and business development firm with a focus on museums and cultural arts organization, will relocate to the Vineyard, according to a museum announcement.

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Museum Explores a Possible Move to Site of Former Marine Hospital
Lauren Martin

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum has taken an option on the former Marine Hospital in Vineyard Haven, giving the museum’s board until the end of January to decide whether the historic property perched on a hilltop above the harbor could serve as the new home for the Island’s historical collections.

The marine hospital went on the market in April with an asking price of $3.19 million.

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Gone Whaling: A Child’s Eye View of Life on a Whale Ship
Megan Dooley

“It is Sunday, and a very pleasant day. I have read two story books. This is my journal. Goodbye for today.”

So opened six-year-old Laura Jernegan’s journal, in an entry dated Dec. 1, 1868, as she set sail on a three-year sea expedition with her family aboard the whaling vessel Roman.

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