Attention, keepers of the relics: NHIA seeks your French Building memories, memorabilia

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MANCHESTER, NH – Perhaps it’s an old picture from your family’s scrapbook. Or maybe someone you know has a great story of a memorable moment that occurred at the New Hampshire Institute of Art’s (NHIA) historic French Building in downtown Manchester. Whatever that trinket from yesteryear may be, NHIA would like to to see it and hear all about it. In anticipation of the 100th anniversary of its campus centerpiece, the iconic Emma Blood French building located at 148 Concord St., NHIA wants the public to share their stories, old photos, and personal moments from the past century.

The Emma Blood French building, located at the corner of Concord and Pine streets in downtown Manchester, was designed by noted Boston architect William Rantoul and erected in 1916 by Mrs. Emma Blood French as the first permanent home of the Manchester Institute of Arts & Sciences, as it was then known. For almost 118 years, NHIA has been a cultural gem of the community offering concerts and lecture series, classes and exhibits for generations of art lovers. Today, NHIA has evolved to become a fully accredited, non-profit college offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in art and design.

Iconic Emma Blood French Building - ooh la la, some classy building.
Iconic Emma Blood French Building – ooh la la, some classy building.

To celebrate the centennial of the college’s historic Emma Blood French building, NHIA hopes to create a short film and photo exhibit chronicling the building’s history, and your old photos, concert programs or posters, memorabilia, and personal narratives can help tell the story of one of Manchester’s most cherished institutions.

On Sunday, June 26 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Betsy Holmes, Director of the Teti Library, and Gary Samson, Chairperson of NHIA’s Photography Department will review items that you may wish to donate to the college’s archives, or lend to the college to be scanned and returned to you. No item is too small. No story should be left untold. Even if you can only share an anecdote, it will be gratefully recorded and shared as part of this 100thAnniversary.

“The Emma Blood French Building is not only the centerpiece of our school, but has also played a major role in the lives of so many people in this community for almost 100 years, and we want to share those stories as part of our celebration,” explains NHIA President Kent Devereaux. “We ask families to dig into their own archives, look through their old pictures and share with us any moment or memory they have that involves this historic building.”

WHAT: History Day –  A Century of Stories

WHEN: Sunday, June 26, 2016, 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

WHERE: The Emma Blood French Building, 148 Concord St., Manchester, 

WHO: The New Hampshire Institute of Art historians and YOU

About New Hampshire Institute of Art

The New Hampshire Institute of Art (NHIA) is the oldest and largest non-profit arts institution in New Hampshire, founded in 1898 as the Manchester Institute of Arts and Sciences. Today, NHIA has grown to become the third largest art and design college in all of New England. NHIA offers undergraduate (BFA), graduate (MFA, MAT, and MAAE), and community education programs serving over 2,000 students annually. NHIA’s academic and administrative programs and residence halls are housed in 11 buildings spread throughout downtown Manchester with additional studio and exhibition facilities located in Sharon and Peterborough, New Hampshire.

NHIA is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). NHIA is also a member of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD). For more information visit

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About this Author

Carol Robidoux

PublisherManchester Ink Link

Longtime NH journalist and publisher of Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!