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.
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At nearly 2000 square feet, the Music Room is the most impressive of the additions made to Rough Point in the 1920s—and fulfilled Nanaline Duke’s need for more formal entertaining room. In August of 1930, Nanaline presented her daughter Doris to Newport society during a debutante ball held in this grand space.
As an adult, Doris changed the room to fit her lifestyle and the ballroom became as space for music and art. She added the two sets of 18th-century hand-painted Chinese wallpaper, which made for a particularly appropriate backdrop for the large-scale Chinese Export ceramics on display in the room.
One of Doris’s additions to the Music Room was the Steinway concert grand piano in the alcove on the wall to the left. Doris—a lifelong amateur musician—was fond of jazz music, and she was known to host musicians from the annual Newport Jazz Festival for informal jam sessions in this room.
Of special note in the Music Room is the Steinway concert grand piano in the alcove on the long west wall. A great fan of jazz, Doris would often host musicians who were in Newport for the annual Jazz Festival for informal jam sessions in this room. Her generous support of the performing arts and jazz in particular continues to this day as one of the four areas of focus for the national grant-giving programs of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
20 panels of hand painted Chinese wallpaper
Famille Rose covered jars with phoenix and cranes among peonies
Pair of musical automatons by John Henry Cox
“Grotto” style piano stool
12 armchairs and a settee with tapestry seats featuring Fables of La Fontaine
Doris Duke bought two lots of Chinese wallpaper at auction in 1958 and 1959 and had them pieced together to create 20 panels that would fit the Music Room walls at Rough Point. This particular panel was put together from three widths of paper that once hung in Clyne Castle, an 18th century Welsh country house near Swansea.
Central painted dial with Roman numerals within a beaded frame and sunburst surround.
This pair of finely painted covered jars represent just a small portion of the large collection of Chinese Export ceramics that Doris Duke's parents had collected for their New York City residence. From historic photographs we know that from ca. 1912 to 1957 these jars were displayed alongside the 18th-century tapestry upholstered furniture in the Drawing Room of the Dukes' New York City house, just as they are today in the Music Room at Rough Point.
This pair of whimsical mechanical pieces (only one is shown here) were made in England for export to the Far East market. To fit English perceptions of Asian aesthetics, a pagoda shape includes animals exotic to Westerners such as elephants and ostriches. When operating, the devices play one of six tunes, and ships and horseback riders parade through painted backdrops revolving behind glass panels in the base. The automatons were acquired by Doris Duke in Bangkok, Thailand, in the 1960s.
Revolving shell form seat on cabriole legs with hairy paw feet, commonly called a grotto stool.
This suite of Louis XVI tapestry upholstered furniture featured prominently in the Drawing Room of the New York City house of the Duke family at 1 East 78th Street. It was purchased for that house from the renowned Duveen Brothers. On each of the seats and backs is a scene from the Fables collected by Jean de La Fontaine (1621-1695) in the late 17th century, including the familiar characters of the Fox and the Crane, the Lion and the Mouse, the Hawk and the Nightingale, the Dog and his Shadow, and the Bat, the Bush, and the Duck.