programs & events

Upcoming Events

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6 pm     Newport Art Museum (76 Bellevue Avenue)

Saturday, July 2, 2016 

Beaux Arts Ball


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6pm: Cocktail Reception and Silent Auction

7:30pm: Seated Dinner

The Board of Trustees of the Newport Art Museum invite you to attend our annual Beaux Arts Ball, a gala fundraiser in celebration and support of the Museum’s mission to connect art and community. Proceeds from the Beaux Arts Ball provide vital support for the Museum’s operations, public programs, and exhibitions.

Join event co-chairs Kristen Coates, Molly de Ramel, and Elizabeth Ann Kahane for a festive evening honoring the Benson Family: John, Richard, Christopher, Nicholas, Oliver and Samuel Benson and the late John Howard and Esther Fisher Benson and Thomas Benson.

Reservations start at $350 per person for the entire evening. Seating for dinner is limited.

For night-owls who want to join the fun just for after-dinner drinks and dancing at 9:30, tickets are $125 per person.



To learn about corporate sponsorship opportunities, download our Corporate Sponsorship packet or call Polly Lyman, Director of Development, at or at 401-848-8200 x7990. 


To place an ad in our Gala program, download our Program Ad Spec Sheet.


Thank you to our Sponsors!


$20,000 Leadership Sponsors

William and Elizabeth Kahane

Nicholas and Shelley Schorsch

Shirley Madhere-Weil and Michael Weil

$10,000 Benefactor Sponsors 

Sandra and Grenville Craig

Bill and Jacalyn Egan

Pamela and David B. Ford

Bernard S. and Sarah M. Gewirz

Mrs. Samuel M.V. Hamilton

Mrs. Elizabeth Prince de Ramel 

Molly and Guillaume de Ramel

van Beuren Family

Robin and Fred Warren

Diane B. Wilsey

$5,000 Contributor Sponsors 

Joseph A. Chazan, MD

Linda Cerce

Cathy and Arthur Bert

Marlene M. Leatherbee

Parker Construction Company, Inc.

Shawmut Design and Construction

Cynthia Sinclair

Jessica Hagen


Second Saturdays

10 am     Newport Art Museum (76 Bellevue Avenue)

Cities by the Sea

Have an inspired morning! This month, "Second Saturday" celebrates Newport, the “City by the Sea” and our sister city, Shimoda Japan! Visit the Cushing gallery for a peek at our Japanese inspired art collection before settling in with local storyteller, Tim Johnson, as he brings to life a form of Japanese story telling called kamishibai (kah-mee-she-bye). Kamishibai means “paper theater”, an ancient storytelling practice using storyboards or picture cards, and will share the story of this art form with Allen Say's Kamishibai Man. Mister Tim has created a small paper kamishibai theater and will use it to tell the traditional Japanese folktale, The Peach Boy, and instruct children on how to make their own small theater at home! Finish up by exploring the galleries with our scavenger hunt!


Admission is free to Second Saturdays (donations welcome).

Please preregister by clicking here!


Art After Dark

5 pm     Newport Art Museum (76 Bellevue Avenue)

Art After Dark this month will feature a very special program. Prepare to be moved, inspired, and entertained!

The Museum will welcome Baha Sadr, Director of Refugee Resettlement and Case Management, and Liliane Bisimwa, Rhode Island Refugee and Mentor Liason, from the Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island for an informal lecture and conversation as part of the Museum's “In Response” exhibition programming.

Using the current exhibition Of Water & Bone, new works by mother and daughter Gayle and Julia Mandle, as the backdrop, they will discuss the current global forced migration and refugee resettlement crisis, our current immigration policy, moral responsibility, and the Dorcas International Institute’s key role in welcoming newly arrived refugees from troubled regions all over the world. Liliane Bisimwa will also share the story of her family’s flight from their native Congo to Bangkok, and finally to Rhode Island, where she received assistance from the Dorcas International Institute and now helps place recently arrived refugees with volunteer mentors.

Following the “In Response” talk, Art After Dark will welcome a group of exceptional musicians from Shady Lea Guitars (Ariel & Victor) for live music with a hint of bluegrass!

Bring your blanket and picnic, and settle in to enjoy live music played from the porch of the historic Griswold house. Tricky Gallery Games and scavenger hunts will keep you and your family artfully engaged in the galleries.

Admission is free for members, $10 suggested donation for non-members

July 14, 2016 Program:
6:00pm In Response: Of Water & Bone and the Dorcas International Institute
7:00pm Live Music on the porch featuring musicians from Shady Lea Guitars
Gallery Games and Scavenger Hunts ongoing

Z food truck will also be in attendance with their delicious food (that is also good for you!)

July Clambake with DESIGNxRI

6:30 pm     Newport Art Museum (76 Bellevue Avenue)

Clambake is a gathering for designers, creatives, those who like design, and want to know more. It’s a time to get together, network and hear about some cool design work that is happening in RI. Meet presenters from different design disciplines and different phases of their career. Presentations are generally 15 minutes followed by Q&A.


WHEN: July 19, 2016
             6:30 pm — 8:30 pm

WHERE: Newport Art Museum
             76 Bellevue Avenue

COST: Free and open to the public


Ashley Van Etten is an illustrator and the owner of Willywaw, a Rhode Island-based studio making handmade goods from screenprinted textiles. Named after the ferocious, katabatic winds in the Strait of Magellan, Willywaw is inspired by nature. Ashley’s textiles are elemental, using natural fibers while depicting organic forms.

Ashley lived in Rockies and Northwest before settling in Rhode Island with her husband, Joe Beckham. Living in a coastal environment, as well as working with several URI biologists, has influenced many of her current designs of marine life, seaweed and microalgae. Ashley is observant by nature and her design aesthetic reflects her connection to living things and is essential to her life and work.

Ezra Smith founded Ezra Smith Design in late 2009 after seven years with Fontaine Design Group in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, during which he gained an understanding of the ergonomic practicalities of yacht interiors. His first major project for the firm was designing and detailing the interior guest spaces for “Paraiso”, a 108’ sloop that went on to win the 2004 International Superyacht Society Design Award for Best Sailing Yacht 23-36 meters, and he went on to serve as lead designer on several custom projects at FDG.

Since founding Ezra Smith Design, Ezra has been working with private clients as well as cementing relationships with some of the best builders, designers and project managers in the marine industry. To date, projects have ranged from hard wing sails and foiling systems for C Class catamarans, to a wheelchair accessible lobster yacht, to the complete interior layout and design of the Oliver Hazard Perry, a 190’ square-rigged sailing school vessel. The practicalities of marine design have proven a translatable skillset to land-based projects, allowing Ezra to pursue his other passion: residential architecture. To date ESD has designed waterfront homes for clients in Maine and Florida, and has completed over a dozen large renovation projects. Ezra has been a sailor from youth and currently enjoys time on the water with his family in Wickford, Rhode Island. Ezra received his degree in Industrial Design from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2002 and has degrees in Economics and Art History from Yale University.

Read / Eat / Chat

"The Decoration of Houses" by Edith Wharton and Ogden Codman, Jr.

noon     Newport Art Museum (76 Bellevue Avenue)

Join art lovers and avid readers for the monthly meeting of the Museum's book club. Read "The Decoration of Houses" by Edith Wharton and Ogden Codman, Jr., bring a lunch and discuss!

Members: Free | Non-members: $5

Book description:

Thousands of books on interior design have come and gone since the 1897 publication of this pioneering manual, but The Decoration of Houses remains, thanks to the insightful and inspiring advice of its co-authors. Before she became the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton was a society matron, remodeling a summer home in Newport, Rhode Island. With the able assistance of architect Ogden Codman, Jr., Wharton assembled this corrective to the rampant vulgarity of her nouveau riche neighbors. Wharton and Codman defied the excesses of the Gilded Age, counseling readers to reject the popular penchant for clutter in favor of simplicity and balance.

More than an engaging item of period charm, this historic guide offers examples of design rooted in architectural principles. Black-and-white photographs illustrate the authors' ideals of classic beauty, depicting grand ballrooms and spacious boudoirs as well as the elements common to homes of every size and era: doors and windows, walls and ceilings, floors, halls, and stairs. One of the genre's most important and influential titles, this volume sparked a Renaissance in American interior design, and its sound advice and practical approach remain forever in style.

Second Saturdays

10 am     Newport Art Museum (76 Bellevue Avenue)

Wet Paint!

Join in the fun of Wet Paint! Register at 10:00am, pick up a canvas and go explore the many outdoor painting locations Newport has to offer. (A list of great spots will be provided).

Come back after you paint and donate your piece for our silent auction - come to the opening reception that evening and view their work hanging on the Gallery walls!  


Admission is free to Second Saturdays (donations welcome).

Please preregister by clicking here!

Wet Paint 2016

10 am     Newport Art Museum (76 Bellevue Avenue)














This year marks the 23rd annual Wet Paint at the Newport Art Museum.    

Wet Paint has become a marquee event in Newport.  The weekend-long community art-fest draws visitors from across New England for a celebration of regional artists, culminating in a lively benefit auction. On the morning of Saturday, August 13, participating artists convene at the Museum to have their canvasses stamped. They explore the town and coastline in search of their favorite subjects  and views, and bring their completed works, still wet, back to the Museum to be installed in the Ilgenfritz Gallery late Saturday afternoon.   In 2015 our 500 participating artists ranged in age from 5 months to spry nonagenarians!

Saturday evening, artists and guests and Wet Paint sponsors are welcomed to a highly anticipated Preview Reception to kick off the Silent Auction.  Bidding is active and continues on Sunday, August 14, with a selection of the greatest pieces included in a Live Auction under the Big Top in the afternoon.   

 For the past several years, Wet Paint has been generously supported by private individuals, local merchants and regional corporations.

 Artists, bidders, volunteers, sponsors :   2016 Wet Paint co-chairs Rupert Nesbitt, Victoria Rios, and Brooke Roberts  look forward to welcoming you at this fun-filled event, which raises funds in support of the Museum.  For more information contact Polly Lyman, 401-848-8200.

Read / Eat / Chat

"The Architecture of Richard Morris Hunt" by Susan Stein

noon     Newport Art Museum (76 Bellevue Avenue)

Join art lovers and avid readers for the monthly meeting of the Museum's book club. Read "The Architecture of Richard Morris Hunt" by Susan Stein, bring a lunch and discuss!

Members: Free | Non-members: $5

Book Description:

This book of essays on the work of architect Richard Morris Hunt accompanies an exhibit jointly sponsored by the American Institute of Architects and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Nine essays by important scholars cover dif ferent aspects of the architect's work, including the Lenox Library and the gateway designs for Central Park. Da vid Chase's article on Hunt's domestic commissions, including the palatial Biltmore House, is especially interest ing. Drawings for the book and exhibit were selected from the vast Hunt col lection at the AIA. A complementary volume to Paul R. Baker's Richard Morris Hunt ( LJ 7/80), this well-illus trated book is highly recommended for most architecture collections.

Read / Eat / Chat

"Murder At Beechwood: A Guilded Newport Mystery" by Alyssa Maxwell

noon     Newport Art Museum (76 Bellevue Avenue)

Join art lovers and avid readers for the monthly meeting of the Museum's book club. Read "Murder At Beechwood:  A Guilded Newport Mystery" by Alyssa Maxwell, bring a lunch and discuss!

Members: Free | Non-members: $5

Book Description:

Having turned down the proposal of Derrick Andrews, Emma Cross has no imminent plans for matrimony—let alone motherhood. But when she discovers an infant left on her doorstep, she naturally takes the child into her care. Using her influence as a cousin to the Vanderbilts and a society page reporter for the Newport Observer, Emma launches a discreet search for the baby’s mother.

One of her first stops is a lawn party at Mrs. Caroline Astor’s Beechwood estate. But an idyllic summer’s day is soon clouded by tragedy. During a sailboat race, textile magnate Virgil Monroe falls overboard. There are prompt accusations of foul play—and even Derrick Andrews falls under suspicion. Deepening the intrigue, a telltale slip of lace may link the abandoned child to the drowned man. But as Emma navigates dark undercurrents of scandalous indiscretions and violent passions, she’ll need to watch her step to ensure that no one lowers the boom on her…

Read / Eat / Chat

"Genius of Place: The Life Of Frederick Law Olmsted" by Justin Martin

noon     Newport Art Museum (76 Bellevue Avenue)

Join art lovers and avid readers for the monthly meeting of the Museum's book club. Read "Genius of Place: The Life Of Frederick Law Olmsted" by Justin Martin, bring a lunch and discuss!

Members: Free | Non-members: $5

Book Descriptions:

Frederick Law Olmsted is arguably the most important historical figure that the average American knows the least about. Best remembered for his landscape architecture, from New York's Central Park to Boston's Emerald Necklace to Stanford University's campus, Olmsted was also an influential journalist, early voice for the environment, and abolitionist credited with helping dissuade England from joining the South in the Civil War. This momentous career was shadowed by a tragic personal life, also fully portrayed here.

Most of all, he was a social reformer. He didn't simply create places that were beautiful in the abstract. An awesome and timeless intent stands behind Olmsted's designs, allowing his work to survive to the present day. With our urgent need to revitalize cities and a widespread yearning for green space, his work is more relevant now than it was during his lifetime. Justin Martin restores Olmsted to his rightful place in the pantheon of great Americans.

Read / Eat / Chat

"Calvert Vaux and Touro Park: Did Calvert Vaux design the 1855 landscaping plan and the 1871 Music Stand?" by James Alan Egan

noon     Newport Art Museum (76 Bellevue Avenue)

Join art lovers and avid readers for the monthly meeting of the Museum's book club. Read "Calvert Vaux and Touro Park: Did Calvert Vaux design the 1855 landscaping plan and the 1871 Music Stand?" by James Alan Egan, bring a lunch and discuss!

Members: Free | Non-members: $5

Book Description:

Carefully analyzing photos, maps, and newspapers from the 1800’s, research historian Jim Egan has concluded that Calvert Vaux created the 1855 landscape design for Touro Park in Newport, Rhode Island. Egan feels Calvert Vaux also designed the 1871 Music Stand, which stood near the middle of the park until the 1930’s. Who was Calvert Vaux? He was a noted building architect who designed mansions like Beaulieu and Beechwood along Bellevue Avenue. But Vaux was even more famous as a landscape architect. Along with Frederick Law Olmstead, he designed Central Park in Manhattan, Prospect Park in Brooklyn, and numerous parks across the Northeast. A breezy writing style and copious graphics (over 500 photos and illustrations) make this a fun read. Along the way, you’ll learn a thing or two about astronomy, the history of riddling, and architectural philosophy (the great rivalry between naturalists and monumentalists). Egan’s book reads like a detective novel, yet all of his conclusions are based on well-documented historical research. Around 1900, fill was hauled in to Touro Park. New walkways were made in the straight X-shaped pattern we see today. But the original serpentine walkways still exist, about a foot under the grass. Egan feels it would be exciting to bring back the original walkway design and make an exact reproduction of the original Music Stand!