Newport Art Museum

Newport, RI



Newport's Cultural Treasures: A Passion for the Past

Cushing Galleries, September 22 - December 31, 2001


The directors of Newport's cultural institutions, who meet with each other on a regular basis, have long been working on collaboration. The fruits of their efforts are on view this fall in the Newport Art Museum's Cushing Galleries in an exhibition featuring highlights from each collection.

From founding dates beginning in 1741 and continuing through 1998, the participating institutions are The Artillery Company of Newport, Redwood Library and Athenaeum, Touro Synagogue, The Newport Historical Society, The Newport Art Museum, The Preservation Society of Newport County, Salve Regina University, Norman Bird Sanctuary, The International Tennis Hall of Fame, The Newport Restoration Foundation, The Museum of Yachting, The International Yacht Restoration School, and The National Museum of American Illustration. (left: Benjamin Porter, Maud Howe Elliot, Newport Art Museum)

In its long history Newport (and its adjoining island communities) has developed an ethic that combines resilience with a passion for the past. Rebounding from economic hardship at different times, Newport has had the foresight to preserve a greater degree of its historic architecture than any comparable city. Over the course of the past half century, it has converted much of that architecture to museum status as repositories of American culture. The city has created an organic, living museum where people go about their daily business amid architectural gems, vivid historic landscapes and a preserved cultural tapestry that extends from Gilbert Stuart to William Trost Richards, Peter Harrison to Charles McKim, the Redwood Library founders to Edith Wharton and beyond.

The 13 cultural institutions gathered together for this unprecedented exhibition share this legacy each in a slightly different way. Some maintain historic roles established in the 18th century, while others have adapted historic buildings and turned them to educational uses. From architectural restoration and preservation to the collection of significant art, books, furniture, decorative arts, artifacts and archival materials, to the preservation of traditional marine-related crafts and historic recreational activities, these institutions maintain Newport's passion for its past.

The organizers of this exhibition, which has been a grand effort of cooperation and teamwork, invite visitors to come see what these institutions have to offer and how their objects complement each others'. Toward this effort, admission to the Newport Art Museum will be free for the length of the show. In addition, greater attention will be focused on these 13 museums when Rhode Island hosts the National Conference for Historic Preservation in October and the New England Museum Association in November. Collaboration among museums will be the topic of a panel discussion at the NEMA conference. Newport' s museum community will show how this exhibition has been a catalyst for successful partnerships.

Read more about the Newport Art Museum in Resource Library Magazine

For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 6/3/11

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