Current Exhibitions

Making Change: Stories of Vineyard Activism, 1820-2020
October 20th, 2020 through February 7th, 2021
Grain Family Gallery

Every great national movement simultaneously rises from, and gives rise to, thousands of local actions. Despite its reputation as an insular world, distant from the mainland, the Vineyard has since colonial times not just reflected, but exemplified, that pattern. 

Making Change will trace the local actions by which Vineyarders have participated as both advocates and opponents of change in national movements for social justice. Spanning the two centuries from the early antebellum era to the present day, it will focus on two intertwined causes that continue to make headlines: African American civil rights and Native American self-determination. Placing people and events from the Vineyard in the context of nationwide movements and conflicts, it will explore events ranging from the debate over slavery and the establishment of Gay Head as a town, to the Wampanoag campaign for federal recognition.

Votes for Women: An Island Perspective
October 27th, 2020 through January 3rd, 2021
Adele H. Waggaman Community Gallery

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, the culmination of over seventy years of activism and advocacy that ended with women voting for the first time in national elections. This exhibit looks back at the long fight for women’s suffrage in America through the lens of the Island and the women who lived here. It touches on how the debate played out in Vineyard newspapers and parlor rooms and features the stories of Lucy Stone and the Blackwell family, who helped lead the movement and considered the Island a second home.

Wish You Were Here
November 13th, 2020 through January 31st, 2021
Chris and Bob Cox Gallery

Postcard enthusiast Jessica B. Harris has turned her connoisseur’s eye to the Martha’s Vineyard Museum’s collection of thousands of postcards. Selecting examples from all six towns and printed from the beginning of the postcard era through the mid-20th century, Harris combines her knowledge of postcard history with her deep love of the Vineyard to create a personal view of the Island.

But… Such Is War
September 15th, 2020 through January 10th, 2021
The Hollinshead Gallery

When he was 22 years old Steve Maxner was drafted into the Army and served as a medic in Vietnam from 1969-1970. After returning home, Steve was diagnosed with PTSD, and as part of his healing process, he takes daily walks on the beach with his dog, Ollie. There he collects shells, driftwood, claws, and other “gifts from the sea”, which he then transforms into sculptures – each representing a different memory or experience of his time in Vietnam. This exhibit features dozens of these sculptures. Accompanied by stories and music written by Steve, they give a glimpse at the horrors of war as well as a journey towards peace… This exhibit is back by popular demand and with additional pieces Steve has created since the original exhibition.

To see the catalog that coincides with this exhibit, click here.

On the Beach/On the Vineyard: Watercolors by Nan Tull (Wezniak)
August 4th, 2020 through December 6th, 2020
Morse Hallway

Who among us hasn’t picked up a shell or a pebble while strolling down the beach, brushed off the sand, and turned it over to inspect its shape and color? These remnants of the natural world are fascinating, and their beauty has inspired countless artists over the years, including Island artist Nan Tull (Wezniak). In the early 1990s, Nan wandered the beached of this Island collecting shells… then put brush to paper and created this beautiful series of watercolors.