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SummerArts: College Art Museums

Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design

Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design (Providence, RI)

224 Benefit Street

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This museum is part of the city’s esteemed School of Design. Having grown along with the school, it is now the state’s leading art institution, with more than 86,000 objects from around the globe. Its first public galleries were established in 1893, and it has undergone several expansions to accommodate its growing collection.

Its permanent collection is divided into ancient art; Asian art; contemporary art; costumes and textiles; decorative arts; painting and sculpture; and prints, drawings and photographs. Highlights include a Charles Frederick Worth dress from 1874, Albrecht Durer’s The Small Horse, Steichen’s Self-Portrait, and work by Dan Flavin. In 2011, the museum opened restored galleries showcasing important collections of ancient, medieval and early Renaissance art.

Exhibitions demonstrate the collection’s wide range. They have included 20th century self portraits, work spanning Durer to Van Gogh, Marcel Breuer’s designs and architecture, and prints by Utagawa Kunisada.

Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design (Providence, RI) Information

  • Public Transportation: Fair
  • Handicapped Accessibility: Yes, at both entrances (224 Benefit St. and 20 N. Main St.)
  • Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday; hours are extended to 9 p.m. on Thursdays; closed on Mondays, New Year’s Day, July 4, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
  • Admission: Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors (62+), $3 for youth ages 5-18 and college students. Free admission for members, children under 5, and for students/faculty/staff of Rhode Island School of Design and Brown.
  • Free Days: Admission is free for everyone on Free-For-All Saturdays (last Saturday of each month except December) and on Gallery Nights, held on the third Thursday of each month (except December) from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is “Pay What You Wish” each Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Subscription/Memberships: Memberships start at $50. Member benefits include free admission to the museum and Chace Center special exhibitions, 10% discount in the museum’s retail space, 10% discount on select RISD continuing education extension classes, invitations to members-only exhibition previews, special reception for new members, discounts at selected local cultural events, validated half-price parking at MetroPark lot, and discounted or free tickets to museum concerts, films, workshops, lectures, and other special events.