programs & events

Wet Paint

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Wet Paint Auction Guidelines

Bidder Registration: 

All who wish to participate in the Wet Paint Auction, both silent and live, must register at the bidders’ table at the event to receive a bidder number and program book.

Silent Auction:

All work will initially be placed in the Silent Auction. Bid sheets will be located next to every work of art and registered bidders will be able to bid during the Preview Party from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm on Saturday, August 13th, and again on Sunday from noon to 3 pm. A panel of jurors select work from the silent auction to go into the Live Auction and Extended Silent Auction. The live auction begins at 4 pm on Sunday, August 14th (see “Live Auction,” below).


All silent auction bids must be placed in increments of $10 or more (e.g. a $25 bid must be followed by a $35, or higher, bid). Raised-bid increments of less than $10 will be marked invalid. To bid, please print your bidder number and bid amount on the slip next to each piece.

Notification of Silent Auction Winners:

Lists of successful silent auction bids will be posted during the Live Auction at the check-out tables as soon as they are available.

Live Auction:

Selected works of art will be marked “Live Auction” or "Extended Silent Auction."  These selected works will be removed from the Ilgenfritz Gallery, and sold in the Live Auction on Sunday at 4 pm, or by the end of the event. 

Pick-up and Payment:

Payment for and pick-up of artwork takes place in the John N.A. Griswold House. All artwork MUST be paid for and picked up by Sunday, August 21st at 4 pm. The Museum will not ship art; however patrons can make shipping arrangements through POST ALL on site.


Cash, check, and all major credit cards are accepted.


Acquisition Fund:

A 3% tax-deductible charge will be added to the winning bid amounts to benefit the Newport Art Museum’s Acquisitions Fund.


Love and art come at a price – with BUY IT NOW bidders can get the piece they have to have at a price worth paying before they lose it. It is not better to have loved and lost.

  • Saturday night ONLY during the Preview Party.
  • If you can’t come back Sunday to continue bidding–BUY IT NOW.  If you like instant gratification and hate competition–BUY IT NOW. Don’t want to lose to so-and-so again–BUY IT NOW.  
  • BUY IT NOW prices are determined by the Museum and are based on an artist’s Wet Paint sale history.  BUY IT NOW prices will be higher than typical Wet Paint sales, elevated to reflect the benefit of BUY IT NOW, the fundraising mission of the event, and to meet the fair-market value of the artwork.  


The Silent Auction will start to close at 3:00 on Sunday. Staff will begin to close the auction one wall at a time in approximately 5-minute intervals. Each section will be prominently numbered. Bidders can remain stationed at their favorite piece located on open walls and keep bidding until all the bid sheets in that section have been removed.

At 3:30, the Youth Auction closes. 

Live Auction Selections

ALL Live Auction and Extended Silent Auction selections will be chosen BEFORE Sunday at noon. Live Auction and Extended Silent Auction selections will be clearly marked, may be previewed in the 1st floor hallway in the Griswold House until it moves into the tent at 4:00.



Absentee Bids

Absentee bids can only be placed on Live Auction pieces.  

Can’t be here for the Live Auction? We'll bid for you.

  • Absentee bids can be placed on Saturday 7:30-8:30 pm and Sunday 12:00-2:00 pm.
  • We will not accept absentee bids for under $500 per item.
  • An absentee proxy bidder will actively bid for you, as if you were there, in increments as indicated by the auctioneer during the live auction.
  • The proxy bidder will not go to your maximum bid unless necessary.

You will have one week to arrange pick-up and payment of work won as an absentee bidder. Beyond one week, the credit card on file will be charged. The Museum will not ship art; however patrons can make arrangements through POST ALL.

The Absentee Bid registration form will require the following information:

  • Bid number (as assigned during bidder registration)
  • Name, address, telephone, email
  • Item number, description, maximum bid amount
  • Credit Card Information - Your card will not be charged unless you give permission or your art is left beyond the one-week limit