Current Exhibitions


But… Such Is War
January 21st, 2020 through February 28th, 2020
The Adele H. Waggaman Community 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 more than two dozen 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.


Neighbors in the Deep: the North Atlantic Right Whale
January 28th, 2020 through June 7th, 2020
The Warren and Marilyn Hollinshead Gallery

For hundreds of years, people have looked to the waters around the Island for the North Atlantic right whale: to hunt them, to see them, and now, to save them. This exhibit looks at these giant creatures and our complex relationship with them.


Emma Chambers Maitland
February 11th, 2020 through June 7th, 2020
The Chris and Bob Cox Gallery

Emma Chambers Maitland embodied an experience both unique and somehow emblematic of the challenges and successes of many black women of her era – teacher, wife, mother, entertainer, sportswoman, nurse – her intelligence, ambition, and talents took her from Virginia to Washington, D. C., Paris, New York, and finally to Martha’s Vineyard. This exhibit,  featuring photographs and memorabilia from her life will give a glimpse into her journey.


Northern Connections: Martha’s Vineyard and the Arctic
December 5th, 2019 through March 1st, 2020
The Grain Family Gallery

Whaling, trade, and exploration brought Vineyarders to the frigid north during the 19th and early 20th centuries. This exhibit explores Vineyarders’ experiences and examines the impact this connection had on both the Vineyard community and the people and environment of the far north.


The Art of the Hunt: Martha’s Vineyard Decoys
October 29th, 2019 through May 31st, 2020
The Bette and Richard Saltzman Cabinet of Curiosities

In the 19th and early 20th century, wild ducks, geese, and other birds served as an important part of the annual cycle of food on Martha’s Vineyard. Vineyarders placed decoys in ponds and along the shore, hoping to lure the wild birds close enough to shoot. The decoys they used came from all over the country, but many Islanders also carved their own. See a selection of decoys from the Museum collection from carvers including Henry Keyes Chadwick, Elmer Crowell, William E. Dugan Sr., and more.