The Newport Art Museum’s collections and exhibitions reflect Newport and Rhode Island’s rich cultural heritage and lively contemporary art scene. The permanent collection of more than 2,300 works of American art concentrates on art and artistic activity from the late 19th century to the present day, and on those contemporary and historic works emphasizing the role played by Newport and New England artists, established and emerging, in the development of American art.
Among the strengths of the Newport Art Museum collection are paintings and works on paper by William Trost Richards, Fitz Henry Lane, John Frederick Kensett, Edward M. Bannister, George Bellows, and other important 19th and 20th century artists. Newport's own American impressionists, Howard Gardiner Cushing and Helena Sturtevant, are well represented in the galleries. The Museum is also home to a growing collection of Rhode Island's most celebrated contemporary artists, past and present. They include Dale Chihuly, Italo Scanga, Hugh Townley, Aaron Siskind, Richard Merkin, Toots Zynsky, James Baker, Joseph Norman, Allison Newsome, Rita Rogers and Sue McNally.
The Museum organizes special exhibitions drawn from the permanent collection, the holdings of other museums and private collections. These exhibitions bring to Newport a wide variety of themes and styles, often accompanied by special programs. The Museum provides local and regional artists with opportunities to exhibit their work in the "Newport Annual Members' Juried Exhibition" and various other exhibitions and events throughout the year. Now in its second century, the Museum continues to serve as a cultural gathering place with a reputation for inclusiveness, professionalism, high-quality exhibitions and programming, and dedication to individual growth and learning.