Exhibitions

EXHIBITIONS

EVENTS

EXPLORE OUR WIDE RANGE OF ONGOING, UPCOMING, AND ONLINE EXHIBITIONS

There’s something new to experience every time you come to the Martha’s Vineyard Museum. Exhibitions change frequently allowing you to explore new facets of Island history and culture with each visit.

Jan 27, 2024 - Sep 8, 2024
The Hollinshead, Cox, and Fleischner Galleries

Clifford: Our Big Red Dog

Clifford the Big Red Dog has been delighting readers for over 60 years. This exhibit invites children and adults alike to play, explore, and learn about Clifford and the man who brought him to life, Norman Bridwell, who called the Vineyard home for over four decades.

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Apr 23, 2024 - Apr 20, 2025
The Saltzman Cabinet of Curiosities

Ferry Tales

In this exhibit, learn about the ferries that have gotten us here — from Abraham Chase’s sail ferry in the 18th century, to the elegance and grandeur of the White Fleet of propeller steamers of the 1920s, to the much beloved Islander which served the Vineyard for over 50 years. The exhibition features ship models, memorabilia, reproductions of historical documents and photographs, and a timeline that traces the history of ferry service to the Island from the 1700s to today. 

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Jun 9, 2024 - Sep 22, 2024
The Grain Family Gallery

Sailing to Freedom

Maritime Dimensions of the Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad was not limited to land, but included a network of maritime routes along the Atlantic seaboard. This groundbreaking exhibition sheds light on how freedom was achieved by sea, including the waters around Martha’s Vineyard.

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UPCOMING EXHIBITIONS

Jun 28, 2024 - Aug 25, 2024
The Adele H. Waggaman Community Gallery

Eisenstaedt’s Martha’s Vineyard

One of the most respected photojournalists of the 20th century, Alfred Eisenstaedt (1898-1995) captured countless iconic images, from a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square to portraits of kings, dictators, and movie stars. This exhibition shares the story of Eisenstaedt’s Martha’s Vineyard through his own words, along with photographs and objects in the Museum’s collection.

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Aug 31, 2024 - Dec 8, 2024
The Adele H. Waggaman Community Gallery

Generations

Art and Identity with the Widdiss Family

Centered around an extraordinary wampum belt made by Aquinnah Wampanoag tribal elder Donald Widdiss, this exhibition explores three generations of Widdiss family artists. Featuring wampum art, pottery, personal stories, and more, we invite visitors to reflect on the broader themes of tradition, artistry, and cultural identity.

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Sep 19, 2024 - Jan 12, 2025
The Hollinshead, Cox, and Fleischner Galleries

Human/Nature: Art and Conservation on Martha’s Vineyard

This exhibition invites visitors to explore the Island's sacred and protected open spaces, each with its own unique story to tell. Through the work of Island artists, visitors will be immersed in these landscapes and their histories, providing a deeper understanding of the Island’s natural environment and the ongoing efforts to safeguard it.

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Oct 5, 2024 - Jan 26, 2025
The Grain Family Gallery

The Secret Life of Seaweed

This immersive exhibition dives deep into the ways in which seaweed has played an important role in Vineyard life for centuries. From farming to cuisine, art to conservation, explore the history and future of these enigmatic organisms!

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ONGOING EXHIBITIONS

The Aileen and Brian Roberts Gallery

One Island, Many Stories

This exhibit offers an introduction to Island history arranged in a thematic way. Visitors are able to learn about the diverse history of Martha’s Vineyard through the lenses of fishing, farming, changing, voyaging, creating, escaping, and belonging.

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The Linnemann Pavilion, Lower Level

Flashes of Brilliance

This exhibit chronicles the history of lighthouses on the Island diving into the details of the Gay Head Light in Aquinnah. Set in the midst of this space, and spanning two floors like a suspended jewel, is the magnificent first-order Fresnel Lens, which was first installed in the Gay Head Light from 1854 to 1952.

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The Linnemann Pavilion, Lower Level

The Challenge of the Sea

This exhibit explores the stories associated with shipping and navigation, lifesaving, and weather in Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds, the second-busiest waterways in the world in the 19th century.

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The Linnemann Pavilion, Lower Level

Hands-On History

This special place is “kid-scale.” A climb-in boat, a sea captain’s cabin, a fishing shack – these are some of the iconic experiences that will help kids to learn through discovery.

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The Johnston/Conrad Family Gallery

On This Site

This exhibit chronicles the historical significance of the site that the Museum sits on. Did you know a lighthouse once existed on the front terrace?

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The Lana and Willie Woods Orientation Theater

History Highlights

This gallery presents a brief animated program that introduces the Island’s timeline, from prehistory to present day. It is meant to provide context to visitors and an overview of Island history before they explore the other permanent and rotating galleries in the Museum.

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Doherty Hall

Doherty Hall is home to some of the larger objects in the Museum’s collection. Located inside are a number of boats, the original hearse from the town of Edgartown, the Mayhew peddler’s cart used for deliveries at Alley’s General Store, a Hawaiian canoe, surfboards, an Erford Burt kayak, the headlamp from the Island’s locomotive and much more. Located in the barn behind the main Museum building.

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ONLINE EXHIBITIONS

Treasured Beacon: The Edgartown Lighthouse

Explore the history, transformation, and importance of this beloved beacon.

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Votes for Women: An Island Perspective

Explore how the fight for women’s suffrage intersected with life on the Island in the 19th and 20th century.

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Laura Jernegan: Girl on a Whaleship

Discover the story of 19th century whaling and the experiences of a young girl on a whaling voyage.

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The Chasm is Not Closed

(Re)Interpreting the Oak Bluffs Civil War Monument

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100 Years, 100 Stories

In each month of MVM's centennial year we’ll explore a new theme and the many ways in which the Island’s past shapes its future.

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