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.

Mar 25, 2023 - Mar 24, 2024
Saltzman Cabinet of Curiosities

Jaws

Creating Amity Island

In the spring of 1974, Hollywood descended on the Island. Martha’s Vineyard had been cast to play the fictitious Amity Island in the now classic film Jaws. In this mini-exhibit, a teaser to our 50th anniversary exhibition in 2025, discover behind-the-scenes details of the production, including the challenges of filming on location and the ways in which the Island's community was involved in the process.

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Jul 1, 2023 - Feb 18, 2024
The Grain Family Gallery

They Were Heard

The Unique Voice of the Martha’s Vineyard Deaf Community

From 1694 to 1952, Martha’s Vineyard - and specifically the towns of Chilmark and West Tisbury - had an unusually large population of people with hereditary deafness.

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Aug 5, 2023 - Feb 4, 2024
The Adele H. Waggaman Community Gallery

1923: A Kid’s Life

This exhibit explores different aspects of life on Martha’s Vineyard through the eyes of a modern child, comparing how Island life then was the same as - and very different from - living here today.

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Oct 7, 2023 - Jan 7, 2024
The Hollinshead, Cox, and Fleischner Galleries

Home

What is home? Is it the places we dwell, the communities we are a part of, or the landscapes and environments we cherish?

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UPCOMING EXHIBITIONS

Jan 27, 2024 - Jun 16, 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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Feb 10, 2024 - May 5, 2024
The Adele H. Waggaman Community Gallery

Clearly Misunderstood: C.F. Giordano

The years of COVID were challenging, but for Islanders there were also moments of great creative expression. For some, it was a time for bringing to life projects that, under normal circumstances, would never have been imagined. This was the case for Charlie Giordano and the motorcycle he calls “Voodoo Doll.” Built over the course of two years in his West Tisbury shop, it is a love letter to art, motorcycles, and to perseverance.

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Mar 2, 2024 - May 26, 2024
The Grain Family Gallery

Percy Cowen: My Dearest Jane

Percy Cowen was an accomplished illustrator when he was sent overseas to serve in World War I. While at war, he wrote to his wife, Jane, at home on Martha’s Vineyard. Passed by the censors, but still illuminating, these letters were filled with drawings of Percy’s experiences. This exhibition will feature loans of artwork from Cowen’s family, including his richly illustrated WWI correspondence lovingly preserved for more than 100 years.

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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

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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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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