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Museum Pieces: Life outside our experience

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“We can’t change what happened in the past, but we can learn the truth of what did happen without fear or defensiveness.” —Linda Coombs Martha’s Vineyard Museum is a vital community organization continuously collecting information...

Museum Pieces: Far-reaching exhibits

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“I was put on earth to make people laugh.” —Art Buchwald Why are we here? Who are we? Defining anything is incredibly hard. Think about how you would describe yourself or want to be described,...

Museum Pieces: Building community

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“No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else.” —P.T. Barnum We are different for a reason. Humans have such a complicated relationship with standing out, whether it be a physical characteristic, idea,...

Museum Pieces: Gathering place

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“To know how much there is to know is the beginning of learning to live.”  –Dorothy West Take another second to read that quote again, and let the words sink in. This is a thrilling...

Embracing the American dream

Every community has its stories tucked away and almost forgotten, but as long as someone remembers, the story is not lost. There are many people whose lives of everyday heroism and refusal to give...

Museum Pieces: You’re part of the story

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“Change often takes time. It rarely happens all at once.” —U.S. Rep. John Lewis  The world is always changing, which requires us to change with it. That doesn’t mean we have to go along to...

This Was Then: The Jetties

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Until a major storm reconstructed our coastline around 1725, Cape Poge and the whole northern tip of Chappaquiddick — the landmasses we sometimes refer to as Great Neck and Little Neck — were a distinctly...

Museum Pieces: Clifford the Big Red Dog exhibit opens

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“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” Decades after he wrote them, these words of poet e.e. cummings ring true. Seeds are planted in our childhood that set us on...

This Was Then: Tallman’s octagon

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Henry Beetle Hough, in his 1936 book “Martha’s Vineyard, Summer Resort,” listed the Island’s five most colorful, outward-facing characters of the late 19th century: a “bell ringer at the camp meeting,” “a somewhat mad...

Grants for good

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What do the Sankofa African American Literature and Culture Festival, Pride Festival in Oak Bluffs, the Aquinnah Artisans Festival, Women in Film Festival, Built on Stilts, Cinema Circus, M.V. Chamber Music Society, Ungrateful Taking,...

Museum Pieces: Universal acceptance

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“We didn’t think anything special about them. They were just like anyone else.”  Deafness in Chilmark was once very common, and medical anthropologist and author Nora Ellen Groce wrote a book about it, called “Everyone...

Art and history

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Vineyard Haven Harbor Cultural District (VHHCD) is far more than the sum of its parts. Founded in 2014, it is one of the biggest cultural districts in Massachusetts, and the only one with a...

Museum Pieces: New year, new shows

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“If things go wrong, don’t give up. Go back and try again.” These words by Norman Bridwell, author of the “Clifford” books, are a perfect reminder to begin the year with. There are examples throughout...

Museum Pieces: Another 100 years

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"How little we know, I thought, of the people we live amongst." —Geraldine Brooks Geraldine Brooks is a Pulitzer prizewinning author who has a residence on Martha’s Vineyard. Her ability to capture the complexities of...

Museum Pieces: A few favorites

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“There is no life that does not contribute to history.” —Dorothy West Dorothy West was one of the most remarkable writers of the Harlem Renaissance, and a groundbreaker for Black women writers. She lived out...

This Was Then: Mephitis mephitis

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Updated 1-5-2024 Skunks have lived on Martha’s Vineyard for at least four or five hundred years. (Except, that is, for about 50 of them. We’ll get to that shortly.) Nantucket, on the other hand, hosts...

Museum Pieces: Maritime history and more

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“History is who we are, and why we are the way we are.”  –David McCullough Island author David McCullough was a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, who believed that...

Museum Pieces: Exploring Island history

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“A visit to a museum is a search for beauty, truth, and meaning in our lives.” This statement from artist Maira Kalman, which I came across by accident the other day, hit me deeply. I...

Boston Tea Party recognition at Chilmark library

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Once upon a time, there was the Boston Tea Party … and that’s not likely a new piece of history for you. But on its 250th anniversary, Dec. 16, at 3 pm, we will...

This Was Then: Dave Curney

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At 3:45 am on Friday, Jan. 18, 1884, the 275-foot steamer City of Columbus, bound for Savannah from Boston, struck Devil’s Bridge off Gay Head, and sank beside the treacherous rocks. Despite the heroic...