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.
The philanthropic causes Doris Duke (1912-1993) cared for or the foundation she established unfortunately do not always come to mind when people recall her name. As with many public figures, much of Doris’ life played out on the pages of tabloids and gossip columns creating a popular memory of her made of half-truths that overshadow her generosity and patronage of a variety of charitable efforts.
Because of this public perception, Rough Point Museum’s 2019 exhibition asks the question, “What do we really know about Doris Duke?” Using historical documents and photographs from the Doris Duke Historical Archives at the David Rubenstein Library at Duke University and items from the Rough Point fine art and fashion collection, NRF is inviting visitors to learn more about Doris by looking honestly at her interests, complexities, and eccentricities to see beyond the myths and legends often associated with her life.
Belly Dance Costume
Vinyl Record, 1966
Doris Duke soon leveraged her social status and influence to find a position that helped directly with the war effort. In January 1945, she entered the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the predecessor of the CIA, based in Caserta, Italy. Her annual salary was $2,000 and her code name was “Daisy.” As part of her OSS cover, she worked as a news correspondent for the International News Service in Italy. Her first report was published on February 19, 1945.
From 1971 to 1974, Doris sponsored the Near East Dance Foundation, an organization she founded to focus on “understanding Near East dance through research, teaching, publication, and performance.” She named Ibrahim “Bobby” Farrar, “The Godfather of Belly Dance,” as the head of the organization. She became a student of belly dance herself- this is one of her many costumes from that time.
Doris Duke maintained a long-term relationship with jazz musician Joey Castro (1927-2009) during the 1950s and 60s. Together they founded the short-lived Clover Record label in 1963, and produced a handful of records for Castro and jazz singers Anita O’Day and Kitty White. The record label and relationship ended by May 1966.