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 late March to November.
Experience the only museum in the world specializing in 18th-century Newport furniture and related decorative arts. Open late May to October.
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 becoming a Restoration Partner today.
This holiday season—whether you are cozy at home or away on an adventure— here are some great ideas to help celebrate the season.
Thank you for supporting the Newport Restoration Foundation and for shopping local. All proceeds benefit NRF and help promote our mission.
Enjoy free standard shipping—as well as free local delivery and free local pickup.
Take the stress out of gift-giving! Your gifts will be beautifully wrapped in paper featuring hand-drawn illustrations and patterning. Select “gift wrapping” during checkout.
*New for 2022*
Holidays in Hawaii Collection: Doris Duke often enjoyed the holiday season at her home in Hawaii, and these products are a nod to the warm and merry holidays Doris and friends spent at Shangri La.
*New* Whimsical Camel Pillow: These plush pillows feature Bactrian camels Princess and Baby, and are perfect to gift or to add coziness to your home. (Doris Duke was a big fan of comfy and stylish design—and we think this pillow is both in one!)
Gift Sets: Perfectly curated gift sets for a special someone—or yourself! Each set includes a natural homemade soap bar, a hand-poured wood wick candle that crackles when lit, and a natural balm that nourishes and protects lips.
Holiday Collection: Celebrate the holidays with featured ornaments, exclusive products inspired by the museum collections, and special gifts (for you, or to share!)
Ornaments: From the iconic exterior of Rough Point, to an homage to Doris’s passion for jazz, to brightly-colored handcrafted designs, these ornaments are perfect to display at home all year-round.
For Entertaining: Entertain in style (or dress up a cozy night at home) with these beautiful, collection-inspired, eco-friendly napkins, plates, coasters, and guest towels.
Unique gifts for all:
For the book-lover: From Doris Duke’s closets & collections, to historic Newport buildings, inside looks at Rough Point, colonial life & Newport furniture, garden-related stories for gardeners & enthusiasts, and kid-friendly new favorites & classics—discover a book for everyone!
For the decisive decision-maker: Featuring a saying from a pillow gifted to Doris Duke, these items showcase Doris’s sense of humor (and your own!)
For the furniture fan: These items are inspired by Whitehorne House Museum’s collection of exquisitely crafted furniture and the stories of the people who designed, made, and purchased furniture and related crafts.
For your furry friends: Our pets deserve some TLC this winter season (*all products are rated two paws up!)
For the gardener: Stylish & sturdy gardening gloves, beautiful books, hand salve, & more. NRF Estate Gardener approved!
For hardworking hands: Soaps, hand butter, hand salve & more! Everything you need to pamper your hard-working hands. From relaxing to invigorating scents—go ahead and indulge. Locally made with organic and sustainably sourced ingredients.
For kids: Fun, educational, and whimsical products for the littlest explorers, artists, and gardeners.
For restoration buffs: Founded in 1968 by Doris Duke, NRF works to study climate change resilience in Newport, develop new community-oriented programs, preserve our museums and historic buildings, and steward centuries-old properties. You too can join us in supporting this work.
For the yogi: These custom yoga pants are relaxing, comfy, & stylish. Limited quantities!
NRF Museum Store gift cards are also available for use online or in store.
Follow us on social media @nptrestoration or sign up to receive newsletters to stay in the know about new products and new sales.
Our special holiday pop-up is located at Rough Point Museum, 680 Bellevue Ave. Open Fridays- Sundays during the holiday season, beginning on November 25th.
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Classification: Full-time (hourly, non-exempt)
Reports to: Chief Operating Officer
Job Summary: We are looking for a focused, industrious, and restoration-passionate accountant, who will play an integral role in maintaining the day-to-day financial records by recording transaction in a timely, accurate and consistent manner. This position specifically works closely with the Tenant Liaison, and the Chief Operating Officer, however they will also enjoy the rest of our supportive and collaborative team.
Salary Range: $55,000 – $65,000 (commensurate with experience), medical, dental, vision, life and disability insurance, health savings account, 401(k) contribution, 15 vacation days, 10 sick days, and a generous amount of holidays.
Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
• Reconcile, record and deposit cash receipts
• Maintain accounts payables, ensure timely payment of invoices, confirming validity of debt and gathering appropriate signatures
• Reconcile bank and investment statements
• Prepare and post monthly journal entries
• Input biweekly payroll entries
• Maintain accounts receivables, predominantly tenant receivables through a property management software package
• Respond to tenant and vendor inquiries as they arise
• Request and maintain W-9s and liability insurance, as applicable, from vendors
• Prepare annual 1099’s
• Assist with annual budget preparation under the purview of senior management
• Assist with annual audit as well as workers’ comp audit
• Prepare quarterly employer 401k distributions and annual 401k reconciliations
• Process biweekly payroll during absence of Human Resource Administrator
• Monitor and analyze department work to develop more efficient procedures and resources while maintaining a high level of accuracy
• Assist with various human resources related projects as necessary
• Respond to inquiries from the Chief Operating Officer regarding financial results, special reporting and the like
• Bachelor’s degree in accounting, business, or a related field is preferred
• At least 5 years of accounting experience, preferably 2 in non-profit accounting
• Proficient in the use of QuickBooks desktop version and some familiarity of payroll software
• Excellent knowledge of MS Office, mainly Excel
• Knowledge of accounting principles and practices
• Good judgement, with the ability to make timely and sound decisions
• Exercise discretion and maintain confidentiality with regard to sensitive information
• Driven, self-motivated, and goal oriented.
• Highly organized, analytical thinker with strong eye for detail
If you are interested in this position, please submit a cover letter and résumé to Maeve Sheehan, Human Resource Administrator via email: Maeve@NewportRestoration.org. The position remains open until filled.
During the sweltering summer months, I was lucky enough to be working in a refrigerator- a clothing refrigerator – hidden away in what was the servants’ quarters on the third floor of Rough Point Museum. Even though the climate-controlled textile collection storage lacks the never-ending ocean view that Rough Point is so famous for, it contains multitudes of other wonders – specifically the fashionable clothing of Doris Duke.
I felt like I had been working alongside Doris this summer, aiding her in organizing her prized possessions, stored carefully to extend their lives well beyond hers. I became accustomed to her style: she was practical but fun, stylish but unique. I was also introduced to all of her favorite designers and makers: Halston, Tina Leser, Taj of India, Star of Siam, Dior, and my personal favorite, surrealist designer Elsa Schiaparelli [i].
Schiaparelli and Doris seem like a match made in heaven. Both were extremely intelligent women who actively rejected the status quo in the quest for their own kind of life and maintained a good sense of humor. For these reasons, it makes sense that Doris had acquired some of Schiaparelli’s more practical designs, swimsuits.
I learned that when Doris liked something, she bought it in every possible color. Specifically, Doris owned three different colors of Schiaparelli’s “Briefer” swimsuit: green, black, and a rainbow-striped print. This design was a collaboration between Schiaparelli and the swimwear brand Catalina that consisted of a convertible two-piece seersucker bikini set that was adjustable for swimming or tanning (See Figure 1). This design gives the wearer options of how high-waisted the bottoms were, and if their top had straps or not (See Figures 2 and 3). This ingenuity was perfect for Doris’ lifestyle, providing coverage and comfort when she was catching some waves surfing, but also some stylish tanning abilities when relaxing on the beaches of Hawai’i.
A sweet and humorous detail on two of the three swimsuits is patches of Schiaparelli’s reinterpretation of the Catalina Swimwear logo, a flying fish [ii]. The first iteration of these swimsuits and the interpretation of the logo was seen in 1948 as the “Official Swim Suit of the Atlantic City Miss America Pageant” before the suits made it to mass production [iii]. The designs on the suits in Doris’ closet have a bit more whimsy to them, with a flying minnow on one of the suits. I like to think that these fun flying fish were part of why she purchased these glamorous swimsuits.
Even though these swimsuits are just a small portion of the giant clothing and textile collection that Doris left behind at NRF, they embody who she was, how she operated, and how she presented herself. The fact that this is a mass-produced design, and also a designer item, speaks to her dueling shopping habits of department stores versus couture houses. With all the money in the world, you would think she would only have purchased one-of-a-kind designer items, but she had a humbleness to her. She knew she was not better than a fairly-priced and well-made item of clothing. Although there are many pieces of clothing in this collection that are couture, they are outnumbered by the number of t-shirts, comfortable caftans, eclectic dance costumes, and tourist treasures that she connected with enough to take home, protect, and save.
By Mel Kennelly, University of Rhode Island intern
Melissa Kennelly is a current Graduate student at the University of Rhode Island perusing her master’s degree in Textile History and Conservation. She obtained her Bachelors of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2020, majoring in Apparel Design with a special interest in dress and textile history. Upon graduation into a global pandemic, she realized that she didn’t want to create more clothing for a world that already has more than enough, which is when she started pursuing a career where she could protect the textiles and clothing that already exist through the artforms of conservation and curation.
Figure 1: 1949 ad for Schiaparelli and Catalina swimsuit collaboration.
Figure 2: Green, shirred seersucker two-piece swimsuit by Schiaparelli.
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Figure 3: Green, shirred seersucker two-piece swimsuit by Schiaparelli.
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Figure 4: Bea Waring (Miss America 1948) wearing the exclusive Schiaparelli and Catalina swimsuit.
Figure 5: Close-up of flying fish design on green swimsuit 2021.93
Figure 6: Close-up of flying fish design on black swimsuit 2021.92
Title: Director of Facilities
Classification: Full-time (Non-exempt)
Reports to: President
Salary: $70,000 – $85,000 annually ($33.65 – $40.86 per hour) commensurate with experience
100% employer paid medical, dental, vision, life and disability insurance, health savings account contribution, employer 401(k) direct contribution (no match required), 15 vacation days, 10 sick days, 12 holidays and professional development assistance.
Job Summary: This position is responsible for managing the day-to-day facilities maintenance of NRF’s portfolio of properties. This includes, but is not limited to, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, landscaping, hardscaping, security, and fire. NRF is seeking a strategic thinker that will bring to the position a strong management background as well as the technical expertise to serve in a hands-on capacity. The Director of Facilities will have an office at Rough Point where they will spend a majority of their time.
Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and résumé to email@example.com. The position will remain open until filled. EOE.
Summer tends to be intern season at NRF’s museums—a time when we welcome one or more up-and-coming museum professionals to the organization to develop new skills, meet new people and learn about the varied and interesting work of museums. Internships are often a critical step in introducing potential museum professionals to museum work. They are a central part of most training programs in collections and conservation work. After all, where else can one get experience in handling, cataloging, and conserving a diverse range of museum art and artifacts? I began my career in museum work with a summer internship, and that experience led to my first paying job in the field. These opportunities are so important in determining whether or not someone enters the museum field, that one of my colleagues once wryly noted that “The best way to get a job in a museum is to have a job in a museum (or an internship).” And yet, for some students, especially students from marginalized communities, internships are hard to learn about and harder still to enter into.
While there are many reasons for this last point, one indisputable factor is how many museum internship opportunities favor students with observable privilege and resources. For example, most internship opportunities across the field tend to be unpaid or low paying, nor does the staff that creates the program typically have time for the outreach necessary to communicate with specific communities of students. The economics of internships often fail to take into account the transportation needs of those who may be unable to afford a car. And sadly, those interns who are selected to join an institution a great distance from their homes often find out that they cannot afford the living expenses in a new place even for a few months. Many museum internships prove more expensive for the intern than for the institution that offers them, and since race and class tend to be inextricably bound up in American society, the structure of a lot of museum internships tends to exclude most potential interns from underserved communities.
Some institutions have done terrific work in helping undergraduate students of color and others overcome the significant barriers to learning about and partaking in museum internships. In Southern California, the Getty Foundation has supported a multicultural internship program across the region, providing funds for institutions willing to bring in summer interns from previously underrepresented minority communities. The Ford Foundation is doing similar work with early career curators at a national level, and as an occasional reviewer for National Endowment for the Humanities’ grants, I can tell you that museums in places like San Jose, Newark, NJ, Pittsburgh, and other sites are creating programs that account for the needs of previously excluded groups in their intern programs.
As a longtime participant in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work, I brought my experience in creating these opportunities to NRF. In late 2020, I reached out to several of my colleagues locally and regionally to help me create NRF’s first DEI program, and this year, I am delighted to note that we will be hosting our second such intern. NRF engages with a wide variety of interns, including an internship for graduate students engaged in the field of conservation.
Meet Our Interns
Brian Villa is a history major at Rhode Island College and President of its Latin American Student Organization. He is also a McNair Scholar (a national program that prepares traditionally underrepresented students for Ph.D. programs), and finally, he is our DEI intern. Brian is excited to connect with others within the field. He looks forward to encouraging other students to explore museum opportunities.
We are equally fortunate to welcome a second undergraduate intern to the fold this summer. Her name is Emi Zeyl, and she is an art history major at URI. Emi is looking forward to the various learning opportunities this internship offers and is interested in NRF’s community engagement initiatives.
Our graduate intern is Mel Kennelly, a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and a graduate student in textile conservation at the University of Rhode Island (URI). Mel is working with our Senior Curator, Kristen Costa, on cataloging, photographing, and rehousing the Doris Duke fashion collection from Shangri La and doing 2023 exhibition research.
We are delighted to have these talented young professionals join us this summer and look forward to having them share what they learn with you.
Bringing these interns together from different backgrounds, different schools, and with different personal histories and asking them to work and learn together has been a longstanding dream of mine. For many years, I have created educational programs that enliven the study of history and make the learning of that subject a more active and engaging process, but I have always lamented the fact that that work has tended to focus on a single student or group of students from one school at a time. I believe that success in any career depends on creating a widespread and diverse network of colleagues. And in Rhode Island, where it is only a slight exaggeration to say that you are less than six degrees of separation from anyone who works in the local and regional museum field, such networking is both essential and easier to accomplish than in a big city like New York or Los Angeles.
Brian’s, Mel’s, and Emi’s internships are just the first part of the network building. As part of our program, we connect our interns to other museum professionals in the region, including Akeia de Barros Gomes, Senior Curator at the Mystic Seaport Museum, and Lorén Spears, Executive Director of the Tomaquag Museum. Our interns will travel to both institutions to meet with Akeia and Lorén as well as other members of their staff and their seasonal interns, and sometime this summer we will welcome staff and interns from Mystic and the Tomaquag to Newport. I hope that these experiences will help connect a diverse range of potential museum professionals to the local and regional museum world and each other.
We invite you to come to Newport this summer to meet our interns and other staff and visit our museums. Both Rough Point and the Whitehorne House Museum are now open for the season, and we can’t wait to see you.
By Erik Greenberg, Director of Museums, Newport Restoration Foundation
Throughout the month of May, we have shared stories about our current projects and the people behind the scenes who help make NRF’s preservation work possible. In our community, historic preservation matters. NRF’s collection of 18th and 19th century houses is one of the largest collections owned by a single organization anywhere in the country. Its continued maintenance is one of the most crucial ongoing preservation activities in New England.
We invite you to become part of a community that cares deeply about protecting these resources.
By joining Restoration Partners, our monthly giving program, your gift provides consistent support to the work we do every day to preserve important historic buildings in Newport.
Ten caring individuals have already joined the program this month, and we are grateful for their generosity. Will you join your neighbors? We need 10 more community members to help us achieve our goal of welcoming 20 monthly donors by the end of May.
If you’re passionate about preservation, please consider making your gift this month so we can continue to protect Newport’s architectural heritage.
P.S. Learn more about our preservation work on YouTube! Click here to start watching.
With profound sadness, Newport Restoration Foundation shares the news of the passing of our former Director of Preservation, Robert Foley. His passion and dedication to NRF helped shape our organization.
Prior to his time at NRF, Robert was an active member of Operation Clapboard, a Newport-based organization founded in 1963. Operation Clapboard was a grassroots project and was the first serious effort to recognize and save Newport’s eighteenth-century architectural treasures. Though the project only lasted a few years, Operation Clapboard saved 40 buildings and helped raise awareness about Newport’s historic structures.
When Doris Duke founded NRF in 1968, she hired Robert to document the restoration process of properties across Newport. From 1968 to 1974, he took thousands of pictures in one of the first concerted efforts to document existing conditions in the preservation field. Many of his photographs are still used by NRF today and are featured in Extraordinary Vision: Doris Duke and the Newport Restoration Foundation, which Robert co-authored.
During his career, Robert worked as a NRF archivist and later became Director of Preservation. He referred to the role as his “dream job.” He led the preservation crew through both daily maintenance and full-scale restorations. His involvement from the very beginning helped to perpetuate the historic trades in Newport and solidified NRF as a preservation leader.
Robert retired in 2016 after more than 50 years of preservation efforts in Newport. Contributions in his memory can be made to the Seamen’s Church Institute.
Newport, R.I. – The Newport Restoration Foundation has selected Franklin Vagnone to serve as the organization’s President, following a competitive national search. Vagnone comes to Newport from the Old Salem Museums & Gardens in Winston-Salem, NC where he served as President and CEO of the renowned national historic landmark heritage site. He will assume this new role on July 11, 2022.
“Franklin Vagnone epitomizes the personal and professional qualities NRF was looking for in a leader,” said NRF Board Chair Jim Ross. “Based on his experiences, and his many successes, we are confident that he will move NRF and its important programs to new levels of local and national importance.”
“The entire NRF board was impressed by Franklin’s leadership experience as well as his successful track record,” Ross continued. “He is the ideal person to continue and refresh our programs, to care for our many properties and to advance the legacy of Doris Duke.”
In his role at the Old Salem Museums & Gardens, Vagnone led a 100-acre historic district containing 90 buildings (85% original, with 27 fully-interpreted historic sites) that included the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) as well as the 1861 St. Phillips district, which includes an African-American Heritage Center and Historic Burial Ground. The site also includes multiple collections storage facilities, and extensively-restored agricultural and archeological landscapes. Previously, Vagnone served as Executive Director of the Historic House Trust of New York City and earlier, in the same role at the Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks. He is also the founder and President of Twisted Preservation Cultural Consulting.
The NRF has purchased, restored, rented, and resold numerous historically important buildings in the center of Newport over the past 50 years with the mission of sparking community renewal. The Foundation currently owns, maintains, and leases more than 70 historic homes throughout the city. In addition, NRF operates the Rough Point Museum, Whitehorne House Museum, and the 40-acre Prescott Farm.
NRF also collaborates with the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) through the facilitation of Rough Point, Doris Duke’s home, as a cultural asset for the city of Newport. Following more than 50 years as a successful catalyst for restoring the Point and Historic Hill neighborhoods of Newport, NRF is preparing to re-envision the future work of the foundation by asking Vagnone, an internationally renowned museum and cultural thought-leader, to collaborate on a wider, more deeply imagined community-based mission.
“The potential to contribute to the diverse communities of Newport is an exciting opportunity,” Vagnone said. “NRF has been such an important facilitator of Newport’s historic core renewal. I look forward to building on this success and engaging in a much broader context of helping to restore communities, as well as preserving important properties.”
About Newport Restoration Foundation:
NRF is a non-profit organization founded in 1968 by Doris Duke to preserve, maintain, and interpret Aquidneck Island’s 18th- and early 19th-century architectural heritage. In addition to a collection of more than 70 early American houses, now rented to tenant-stewards, NRF operates three museum properties that are open to the public: Rough Point, Doris Duke’s Newport mansion which is home to a significant collection of European paintings, furniture, and textiles, and other European and Asian decorative arts; Whitehorne House Museum, featuring 18th- and early 19th-century Newport furniture; and Prescott Farm in Middletown, RI, a public park and historic site with ties to the Revolutionary War. Learn more at www.newportrestoration.org.
The annual Doris Duke Historic Preservation Awards, a joint program of the Newport Restoration Foundation and the City of Newport, encourages excellence in historic preservation by recognizing exemplary preservation, restoration, and rehabilitation projects as well as education and advocacy initiatives that have taken place throughout Aquidneck Island. This year’s deadline for nominations is June 1, 2022.
Newport Restoration Foundation is calling upon the local community to nominate projects completed within the last three years that have truly enriched and added value to the character of the community through preservation. The winners will be acknowledged at an awards event on Friday, September 9, 2022 (event details to be announced). Please see below for award criteria and links to the nomination guidelines.
Further information about the nomination process, including a listing of the information that must be provided in conjunction with a nomination, can be found at newportrestoration.org/DDPA or by emailing Alyssa Lozupone, NRF’s Director of Preservation, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May is Preservation Month. This year’s theme of “People Saving Places” gives us the opportunity to recognize the team who maintain one of the largest collections of period architecture owned by any single organization in the United States. The painting, carpentry, and systems teams have more than 180 years combined of experience and keep the 18th and early 19th century buildings intact for our tenant stewards. With such an extensive collection of historic properties, it’s no easy task. Some of our crew have been a part of NRF for decades, and some members have recently joined the organization to continue the legacy of preservation. This month, we look forward to introducing you to members of our team and giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into the maintenance of these historic structures. If you see them working around town, be sure to say hello!
You can help us maintain these historic places by becoming a Restoration Partner. As a Restoration Partner, your monthly contribution is immediately directed toward NRF’s ongoing work. Your monthly gift is fully tax-deductible and automatically charged to your credit card or bank account.
Please visit newportrestoration.org/donate to learn more about the program and to make your gift. Thank you for supporting NRF and preservation in Newport!