NRF promotes and invests in the architectural heritage of the Newport community, the traditional building trades, and Doris Duke’s fine and decorative arts collections, for the enjoyment, education and inspiration of all.
As a leader in the preservation of early American architecture, NRF supports research and education in areas directly related to its collections and issues of critical concern to the field of historic preservation.
Tour Doris Duke’s art-filled mansion and enjoy panoramic ocean views from the extensive grounds, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. Open April to November.
Experience the only museum in the world specializing in 18th-century Newport furniture and related decorative arts.
Explore 40 acres of open space, a tribute to the agrarian heritage of Aquidneck Island. The site is open daily from dawn to dusk for public enjoyment.
Newport Restoration Foundation holds one of the largest collections of period architecture owned by a single organization anywhere in the United States.
Celebrate excellence in historic preservation efforts within the City of Newport, Rhode Island.
Live amidst history by renting one of our many historic properties.
Help us to continue a lived-in legacy by making a contribution to our Annual Fund today.
This October officially marks the 50th anniversary of the Newport Restoration Foundation, so we’re opening our doors to the community with special events, including FREE admission to Rough Point on October 24 to celebrate our Golden Birthday. This entire year we’ve been looking back at — and sometimes reviving — what Doris Duke and others were up to around the time of its founding. Please mark your calendars for special events across all of our museum locations including:
Newport Schools Night
September 19 / 5:00 – 7:00 pm / Free
Tucked all the way at the end of Bellevue, Rough Point is easy to miss. All Newport K-12 students and their families are invited to visit Doris Duke’s eccentric home for a night of fun and exploration. The museum and grounds will be open for strolling. Lawn picnics and #camelgrams encouraged. All ages welcomed. Ages 18 and under are free, and adults admitted free if accompanied by a K-12 student. Otherwise, general admission is $10.
A Closer Look at Designing for Doris, Curators Tour & Open House
September 20 / 4:30 – 7:00 pm / Free
David Webb archivists Dianne Batista and Levi Higgs will explore the intersecting interests of David Webb and Doris Duke in this special tour of Designing for Doris: David Webb Jewelry and Newport’s Architectural Gems. The tour will touch on the curatorial process and the commitment to beauty and design that drew two creative minds together. Tours will be held at 4:30, 5:30 & 6:30 (advance registration required). Light refreshments served at the open house to follow, which is free and open to the public. This is a Design Week RI event.
Ask a Gardener
September 29 & October 27 / 11:00 am, weather permitting
Included with admission to the house or grounds
Every last Saturday of the month, estate gardeners share their expertise on a range of topics from plant identification to organic garden care. Get insider tips on how to make your own garden as lush as the gardens at Rough Point.
Gardening with the Masters: Colonial Foodways of New England
October 7 / 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, Lecture begins at 11:00 am
Whether you’re growing lettuce or lupines, the URI Master Gardeners are here to help! At 11:00 am hear garden pros speak on selected topics. This month, learn about “Colonial Foodways of New England” with Jeff Richards. The 1812 Sherman Windmill is also open for touring.
Stone Wall Workshop
October 13 / 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
$40, Advance registration required
Learn the art of traditional stone wall construction and repair from the experts. Join Master class instructors Chris and Dan Smith for their fifteenth year leading this hands-on workshop. Light snacks and refreshments will be provided for all participants. If you have work gloves, please bring them along. Please note: In the event of bad weather, the rain date is October 14.
NRF’s Golden Birthday
October 24 / Free
In October 1968, the Newport Restoration Foundation was officially incorporated – 50 years later we invite Newport to celebrate the work that’s been accomplished and the exciting road ahead.
9:30 am – 7:00 pm
Rough Point, 680 Bellevue Avenue
Admission to Rough Point, Doris Duke’s Newport home and the site of the earliest NRF’s annual board meetings, is free all day.
5:00 – 7:00 pm
Vernon House, 46 Clarke Street
Vernon House, one of the newest additions to NRF’s collection of 18th century buildings, will be open to the public for an evening of community and celebration. Drop in to say hello, explore one of Newport’s most fascinating buildings, and toast to the next 50 years! Light refreshments will be served. Advance registration required here.
Workshopping the Collection: Newport’s Cabinetmaking Tradition
Whitehorne House Museum
October 14 / 1:00 – 3:00 pm
$50; advance registration required
Get up close and personal with the early American furniture collection at the Whitehorne House Museum. Jeffrey Greene will be turning his craftsman’s eye to the construction details and design differences that set Newport furniture apart. Expect hands-on experience and careful examination during this seminar-style workshop. We’re turning tables upside-down, removing drawers, and getting on hands and knees to study the distinct form of Newport ball-and-claw feet.
Workshopping the Collection: Identifying Legendary Newport Cabinetmakers
Whitehorne House Museum
October 28 / 1:00 – 3:00 pm
$50; advance registration required
Jeffrey Greene will be turning his craftsman’s eye to the minute details of a piece that help to identify the maker. Only a tiny percentage of high-end Newport furniture is signed or labeled, but craftsman’s markings and methods of work are as identifiable as handwriting and have yielded some surprising discoveries. Expect hands-on experience and careful examination during this seminar-style workshop.
Colonial Survival and Modern Revival: Newport in the 1960s
October 30 / 5:00 – 7 :00 pm / $15
Newport in the 1960s was a time-worn place, a city of many architectural layers. Some saw decay; others saw a sleeping beauty. Urban renewal celebrated modernity, and historic preservation revered the past. These two forces were engaged in an epic battle for the future of the city. Through period photographs and compelling news reports, journey back to the old colonial districts of the Historic Hill and Point and witness the explosive firmament of the 1960s when an important chapter in Newport’s history was being written. Doors will open at 5:00; the lecture begins at 5:30. We invite you to visit the special exhibition galleries before the program.
For more information on all events, visit www.NewportRestoration.org/events.
At Rough Point, the questions asked most by visitors are not always about the priceless artworks, the architecture, or the history of the building. The questions most frequently asked are about the estate’s most recent owner: heiress, preservationist, and art collector, Doris Duke.
As a scholar of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but one who has—until recently—had little opportunity to spend time in New England, I have developed a particular, though less than fully informed, vision of the wealthy women and men who called Newport their summer home and what their so-called summer cottages must have looked like.
Hearts may not have been one of Doris Duke’s favorite design motifs, but heart shapes can be found in several places throughout her Newport estate. In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re taking a closer look at some of the hidden hearts in the fine and decorative arts collection at Rough Point.
Sometime during my first week serving as the NRF’s Director of Museums, our Marketing Manager suggested that I write an introductory blog post. I said, “Sure, in fact, I think I’ll write two, an introduction and something about my favorite room at Rough Point...