The Newport Art Museum of Newport, Rhode Island has a permanent collection of some 3,000 works of art in a diverse array of media. It is particularly strong in American art ranging from the colonial period to contemporary works. Included in the permanent collection are works by Gilbert Stuart, Winslow Homer, James McNeill Whistler, Lila Cabot Perry, George Bellows, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. Many of the works are works on paper including a collection of plans and drawings by Frederick Law Omstead.
The Museum is located on Newport's Bellevue Avenue, not far from the International Tennis Hall of Fame and just up the street from the Gilded Age mansions known as Newport's “summer cottages.” There are two main buildings on the Museum's park-like, tree-shaded, three-acre campus.
The first building is the John N.A. Griswold House. Griswold was a prosperous merchant who made a fortune in the China Tea Trade. In the mid-19th century, he commissioned architect Richard Morris Hunt to build a mansion for him in Newport. Unlike the “cottages” that would soon be built down the street, this building was meant to be a year-round home for the Griswold family.
Completed in 1864, Hunt designed the mansion in the American Stick/Eastllake style and it is considered one of the best examples of that style. Griswold lived there until his death in 1909.
After standing vacant for several years, the Art Association of Newport purchased the property. According to the Museum, the Association planned to create a museum “on the belief that arts and culture have the power to bring diverse groups of individuals together, which ultimately promotes civic engagement and strengthens the social fabric of our communities.” The Museum opened in 1915.
The Griswold Building is now listed as a National Historic Landmark. In addition to galleries, the building houses, among other things, the Museum's gift shop and an auditorium. Much of the original woodwork remains visible.
The second building on the Museum's campus is the Howard Gardiner Cushing Building. Howard Gardiner Cushing was an American Impressionist active at the turn of the 20th century. After his death in 1916, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney commissioned a building to act as a memorial to Cushing at the Newport Art Museum. The Neo-classical building was designed by architects Delano & Aldrich and was completed in 1920. The Sarah Rives Lobby and Morris Gallery were added in 1990 providing the Museum additional gallery space.
The Cushing Building exhibits selections from the museum's permanent of Cushing's works. (The Museum has the world's largest collection of Cushing's work). In addition, the building's galleries are used for temporary exhibitions and for visiting exhibitions.
The Museum also operates the Coleman Center for Creative Studies, which offers art classes and workshops.
For more information about visiting, see the Newport Art Museum's website.
Above: The exterior of the John N.A. Griswold Building, a National Historic Landmark.
Below: Below the main staircase in the Griswold Building.
Above: The Howard Gardiner Cushing Building.
Below: A gallery of works by Howard Gardiner Cushing from the Museum' permanent collection.
Places to see art - - Newport, Rhode Island - - Newport Art Museum