59 School Street, Box 1310, Edgartown MA 02539 - 508.627.4441
Martha's Vineyard Museum MV Museum

The following exhibits will all be open May 26th - September 3rd in the galleries in Edgartown.



It’s no secret that Martha’s Vineyard is an incredibly popular vacation destination. But how did it get to be that way? This exhibit explores the humble beginnings of tourism, and shares stories of how people got here, where they stayed, and what they did over the years.


The center of Edgartown fits comfortably within a square mile; an ambling pedestrian can cross it in half an hour. Over the course of its 375 years, however, Edgartown has been a shire town and a market town, a whaling and fishing port, a center of learning and faith, a genteel summer resort and a backdrop to political scandal. Self-taught church architect Frederick Baylies, Jr., whale-oil king Daniel Fisher, and "country editor" Henry Beetle Hough all left their mark on it, along with countless other residents and visitors. This exhibition tells the story of Edgartown, from the dawn of the whaling era in the 1820s to the filming of Jaws in the 1970s, using photographs from the Museum's collection and captions by MVM research librarian Bow Van Riper.


To say that the Island has been home to extraordinary women would be an understatement.  From Wampanoag tribal leaders to wives of whaling crewmembers who kept businesses running, our history is full stories of strong and courageous women who helped shape the Island for the better. Today’s artists, writers, musicians, teachers, and entrepreneurs continue to enrich the community in many ways. 

This summer, we are honoring this legacy by profiling five trailblazing women: Magda Polivanov, Sarah and Lucy Adams, Nancy Luce, and Dorothy West.