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Newport Restoration Foundation Announces Rough Point Museum Now Free for all Newport County Residents

The Newport Restoration Foundation (NRF) is announcing that Newport County residents are now able to visit Rough Point Museum free of charge. NRF is in the process of reimagining the Rough Point Museum as a community space and is utilizing previously inaccessible and underutilized spaces to make the museum more welcoming. Part of this strategy of accessibility includes removing barriers to access like the admission fee for Newport County residents.


“In a move toward developing a deeper community relationship as an asset to Newport County, admission to Rough Point Museum is now free for all Newport County residents,” said NRF President Frankie Vagnone. “With interactive visitor engagement, the new Newport Galleries of Art, Craft, and Design, along with the establishment and expansion of the new ‘Telling Stories’ initiative, the Newport Restoration Foundation is re-envisioning our purpose and expanding our commitment to the community.”


Visitors to Rough Point Museum can engage with the life and legacy of NRF founder Doris Duke through a variety of experiences—including an interactive self-guided tour available through the Newport Restoration Foundation app. While exploring the house, visitors can learn more about the rooms, collections, and people of Rough Point, watch behind-the-scenes videos related to the caretaking of the museum and the objects, virtually step inside spaces not on the tour path, and encounter special object highlights.


The announcement of free admission to Rough Point Museum for Newport County residents caps off a landmark year for NRF. Milestones include the introduction of 3D printed reproduction artifacts, hands-on engagement, video kiosks, and the opening of the west wing of Rough Point for dedicated galleries to display the collection of Newport furniture & decorative arts first envisioned by Doris Duke. This year also saw the reopening of Vernon House at 46 Clarke Street for “GAMES, GAMBLERS & CARTOMANCERS: The New Cardsharps”, an innovative art exhibition in partnership with Art & Newport which juxtaposed contemporary art, conversation, and thought with the rich historic setting and stories of Vernon House. Admission to this exhibition was also free, allowing over 1700 visitors to experience Vernon House, nearly one-third of whom were Newport County residents.

NRF is committed to using spaces like Rough Point Museum and Vernon House as settings for the public to gather and encounter new ideas, stories, and experiences that reflect Newport and its multitude of communities. With Rough Point Museum now accessible at no cost to Newport County residents, NRF seeks to engage with the Newport community in a new way.

To be admitted, Newport County residents will simply need to show proof of address at the museum entrance. Rough Point Museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am to 4pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 5pm.

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