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Fine Art Museums in Rhode Island

Providence and Newport, with their history of wealth and sophistication, have active legacies of fine art. Other Rhode Island towns are emerging on the art scene.

Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence RI
The North Main Street entrance of the RISD Museum.

Our smallest state is big on art, with Providence's world-famous Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University displaying their artistic riches. Private collectors—and Rhode Island's long history—make significant contributions as well.


Rhode Island School of Design Museum

Rhode Island's prime art museum is the RISD Museum of the Rhode Island School of Design , with about 100,000 European, American, Latin American and Asian artworks from ancient Greek and Roman statuary through centuries of painting and sculpture, costumes and textiles, furniture, decorative arts and design, prints, drawings and photographs. More...

David Winton Bell Gallery

A strength of Brown University's David Winton Bell Gallery is in photography, with over 2000 images by Berenice Abbott, Margaret Bourke-White, Harry Callahan, Walker Evans, Elliott Erwitt, Louis Faurer, Danny Lyon, Aaron Siskind, Andy Warhol and Garry Winogrand.

The gallery also holds a small but significant collection of 20th-century paintings, with works by Pierre Alechinsky, Edward Avedesian, Walter Darby Bannard, William Baziotes, Ross Bleckner, Mel Bochner, Ron Davis, Denise Green, Jonathan Lasker, Robert Motherwell, Alice Neel, Ray Parker, Larry Poons, Jules Olitski, Joan Snyder, Frank Stella, and Christopher Wool. More...

Annmary Brown Memorial

Brown University's Annmary Brown Memorial houses exhibits of European and American paintings from the 17th through the 20th centuries: paintings attributed to Anthony Van Dyck and his school, Angelika Kauffmann, Michelle Marieschi (a follower of Canaletto), Peter Paul Rubens, Andrea del Sarto, Francesco Solimena, Gilbert Stuart, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and Benjamin West, as well as more modern works by Giuseppi Barbaglia, Jacob D Blondel, Don Jose Casado, Thomas Couture, Thomas Hicks, John Wesley Jarvis, Eastman Johnson, Frederik Kaemmerer, Gari Melchers and Edwin Lord Weeks. The Memorial also holds the Cyril and Harriet Mazansky British Sword Collection. More...


Newport Art Museum

Newport Art Musseum, Newport RI
The Newport Art Museum, in a former "summer cottage."

The museum's collection of 2300 works concentrates on Newport and New England artists from the late 19th century to today, with works by Edward M Bannister, George Bellows, John Frederick Kensett, Fitz Henry Lane, William Trost Richards, Newport's own American Impressionists, Howard Gardiner Cushing and Helena Sturtevant, and contemporary Rhode Island artists James Baker, Dale Chihuly, Sue McNally, Richard Merkin, Allison Newsome, Joseph Norman, Rita Rogers, Italo Scanga, Aaron Siskind, Hugh Townley, and Toots Zynsky. More...

National Museum of American Illustration

National Museum of American Illustration, Vernon Court mansion, Newport RI
Vernon Court, now an art museum.

American illustration flourished with the spread of print media in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, just when Newport's sumptuous mansions were inhabited by tycoons. Now one of those mansions, Vernon Court, houses the National Museum of American Illustration with works by McClelland Barclay, H C Christy, John Clymer, Dean Cornwell, Steven Dohanos, Harvey Dunn, John Falter, Harrison Fisher, J M Flagg, Charles D Gibson, Phillip R Goodwin, Elizabeth S Green, Al Hirschfeld, W H D Koerner, John LaGatta, J C Leyendecker, Violet Oakley, Maxfield Parrish, Coles Phillips, Maurice Prendergast, Norman Price, Howard Pyle, Frederic Remington, Norman Rockwell, Mead Schaeffer, Frank E Schoonover, Alberto Vargas, Jessie Willcox Smith, Andrew Wyeth, Jamie Wyeth, N C Wyeth and others. More...


Gilbert Stuart Birthplace & Museum

  George Washington, by Gilbert Stuart

George Washington,
the unfinished portrait...

Gilbert Stuart's unfinished 1796 portrait of George Washington is perhaps the most famous and beloved image of the USA's first president—except for that other Stuart portrait, the one on the US $1 bill.

You can take a fascinating look into the life, times and art of the artist and his artist daughter Jane Stuart at the Bell Art Gallery of the Gilbert Stuart Birthplace & Museum, 10 miles (16 km) west of Newport. More...


Hera Gallery

In Rhode Island's South County, Hera Gallery organizes juried shows and fine exhibitions of established and emerging contemporary artists from across the USA. More...