Portsmouth Athenaeum 2016 Speakers' Series

Keeping the Past Alive

Fall 2016 Speaker Series Program

On September 21, 2016, the series resumes with "A Museum for Curiosities, "Both Natural and Artificial" - The Early Athenaeum Collection," related by Elizabeth Rhoades Aykroyd.

In 1820 The Athenaeum of Portsmouth, NH sent out a letter to local sea captains and merchants, soliciting donations of any "curiosities" that they might encounter in their travels around the world. The response was immediate, and all sorts of "specimens" were given to the young institution, many of which are still in the collection. At the same time the "curiosities" were being collected, some of the Athenaeum's most important paintings and busts were being placed in the building, which was purchased in 1823, laying the foundation for the remarkable collection of today.

Elizabeth Rhoades Aykroyd is the Curator of the Portsmouth Athenaeum. She is a native of the Seacoast and received her BA from Wheaton College, Norton, Massachusetts, and her MA from the Wintethur Program in Early American Culture at the University of Delaware. She has worked in a number of museums, including a U.S. Army museum in Germany.

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Each program begins at 7:00pm in the Research Library of the Portsmouth Athenæum at 9 Market Square in Portsmouth, NH.

Attendance at programs is free for Athenæum Proprietors, Subscribers and Friends.  Guests and members of the public are welcome to attend the entire series by becoming a Friend of the Athenæum for as little as $25 per year, payable via mail or at the door. Admission to an individual program is $10.

Reservations are required. Please call (603) 431-2538, Ext. 2 for reservations up to 48 hours in advance.