The seeds of the Newport Art Museum were planted in 1912 with the establishment of the Art Association of Newport by a small group of local cognoscenti interested in showing the works of local artists and developing an appreciation for the arts in Newport. The Association’s first exhibition took place just a month after its founding, and featured works by its members and many other important contemporary artists.
The Museum found a home in 1916 when it moved to the John N.A. Griswold House, designed in 1862 by noted architect Richard Morris Hunt. Today, the Museum still resides there (now a National Historic Landmark), but has expanded to two new buildings. The Cushing Memorial Gallery nearby opened in 1920 as a memorial to one of its earliest founders, Howard Gardiner Cushing, and has since expanded further with the addition of a new gallery wing, lobby, and art storage facility. The Gilbert S. Kahn Building, open since 1998, houses the Museum’s art school, which includes studios dedicated to each of the major disciplines in visual art.
The NAM’s collection is centered around the art of the region, its history and development, though does include a number of works by important American artists, past and present. Special exhibitions feature works from the permanent collection grouped according to particular themes, as well as pieces borrowed from museums and collections across the country.
Newport Art Museum Information
- Public Transportation: Poor
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Hours: Monday, closed; Tuesday-Saturday, 10 am-5 pm (May-October), 10 am-4 pm (November-April); Sunday, noon-5 pm (May-October), noon-4 pm (November-April), closed Christmas, New Year’s Day, July 4th, and Thanksgiving, open all other major holidays.
- Admission: Museum members, free; Adults, $10; Seniors, $8; Students/Military, $6; Children (5 & under), free.
- Subscription/Memberships: Individual adult membership is $45, Seniors/Military $35, Students $25, Household $60 (Senior household $50); Benefits include free admission, discounts on art classes and children’s events, free newsletter subscription and discounts on Museum publications; Further benefits with higher levels of giving.