MV Museum History

Martha's Vineyard Museum Unveils Plans, Launches Capital Campaign

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum has entered the home stretch of a major capital campaign to relocate to the former Marine Hospital in Vineyard Haven.

Saving Logbooks from a Watery Grave

How do you go about fixing a whaling logbook damaged centuries ago by water? It sounds odd, but among the first things an expert might do is soak the afflicted pages in yet more water.

Honoring Lois Mailou Jones, an Artist and a Trailblazer

When Lois Mailou Jones began painting in the 1920s, she did so in near anonymity, a sign of the endemic racism and sexism of the time. But 92 years after her first exhibition, Ms. Jones is now the focus of a new exhibit at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, running from June 12 to August 23 this summer. Nearly 17 years after she died, Ms. Jones is once again on display in the Vineyard.

Giving the Gift of Education; Museum Receives Large Grant to Expand Programs

The Martha's Vineyard Museum has received a $500,000 National Endowment for the Humanities grant. “Sometimes you ask for the moon, and you get it,” said museum executive director David Nathans.

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.
old hospital

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.

Marine Hospital

Museum Explores a Possible Move to Site of Former Marine Hospital

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.

boat

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

“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.

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.

boats

Anonymous Donor Buys Painting for Island Museum

By 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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