Bold and Brash (and almost over!)


Get to the latest exhibit at the Discover Portsmouth Center. It’s “Bold and Brash: The Art of John Haley Bellamy.” And go, even if you don’t like eagles (the exhibit consists largely of eagles carved of wood.) The exhibit, as well as the people who created it and tend to it, are quite captivating.

The Discover Portsmouth Center is located in the home of the former Portsmouth Library, on two floors. Upon entering, you will first be struck by all of the winged splendor, but you will also see autographed copies of American Eagle: The Bold Art and Brash Life of John Haley Bellamy, which highlights the centennial of Bellamy’s death, and is written by the exhibit curator James Craig.

The book debunks many myths, uncovers the secrets, and explores the legacy of the successful Yankee artist from Kittery Point, Maine. Widely considered the pinnacle of American woodcarving, eagles by John Haley Bellamy (1836-1914) rank among such hallowed national symbols as the Statue of Liberty, the White House, and Old Glory. The exhibit, which opened April 4 is only up through Oct. 3, so you must hustle.

If you really get a move on, you can catch the last gallery talk on Friday, Sept. 19 at 11 a.m. — Jim Craig will discuss Decoding the Many Myths of John Haley Bellamy. (We hope he will answer whether or not the way the eagle faces in the carving has any meaning.)

Of interest upstairs, is work by David Kaselauskas, a lobsterman and woodcarver from Kittery Point, Maine. Kaselauskas turned his tools from eagles and Bellamy-inspired canes to reproductions of Bellamy’s and maritime painter George Savary Wasson wooden boards drawing notice of marine artists. (Including local favorite Stan Moellerof York, Maine.

You’ll also see work by Paul McCarthy (1942- present) the former in-house woodcarver for the USS Constitution Museum, and also the creator of props and signage used in The Witches of Eastwick.

Admission is $5 for Portsmouth Historical Society members/ $10 Non-members/ Children under 12 are free. Admission to the John Paul Jones House is included when you purchase a ticket to any gallery talk. All gallery talks begin at 11 a.m. in the Academy Gallery at Discover Portsmouth.

Gallery talk seating is limited- please call to reserve your seat (603) 436-8433.

SOMMA is happy to be one of the sponsors of Bold & Brash.