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 becoming a Restoration Partner today.
From Rosé with the Roses, to Jazz on the Lawn, we have something for everyone this summer at NRF! Rough Point Museum, Whitehorne House Museum, and Prescott Farm will offer a variety of free and ticketed programs for all ages and interests. Please mark your calendars for upcoming special events including:
Rosé with the Roses
July 10 / 5:00 – 7:00 pm / $25 / Rough Point Museum
Rough Point’s rose allée bursts into full bloom for a few days every July. Savor this brief and breathtaking event with a glass of rosé in hand. The museum’s exhibits and grounds will be open for strolling. Price includes admission to the museum and one drink ticket. Please note that this program is weather dependent.
July 14 & August 11 / 12:00 – 3:00 pm / FREE / Prescott Farm
Community comes together to enjoy the largest public open space on Aquidneck Island. Each month NRF joins with a non-profit partner to highlight the expansive history and horticulture of Prescott Farm. Explore the nature trails with our guest guides, chat up URI’s Master Gardeners, or climb inside the historic windmill – themes, guests, and activities change monthly!
July: Middletown & Portsmouth Historical Societies shed light on Prescott’s Capture
August: Gray’s Grist Mill takes us from seed to Johnnycake
The Myth & Mystique of Doris Duke in Newport
July 16 / 5:00 – 7:00 pm / $15 / Rough Point Museum
Almost every Newporter with a long enough memory has a story about Doris Duke. Special guests, including former staff and friends, recount their experiences, and we hope you bring your own recollections to share at this casual event that examines the legends and lore of Doris’s time in Newport.
Creative Survival: African Artisans in Newport
July 22 / 5:00 – 7:00 pm / $15 / Rough Point Museum
Newport was the most active slave port in the British North American colonies, and many of the enslaved Africans who arrived here were placed into training in the artisan trades, including furniture making. This presentation by the 1696 Heritage Group will explore how these African craftsmen and women contributed to colonial Newport’s economic and cultural prosperity.
Jazz on the Lawn
July 24 / 5:00 – 7:00 pm / $15; 12 and under free! / Rough Point Museum
A night that celebrates Doris Duke’s lifelong affinity for jazz music. Join us for an evening of picnic blankets, ocean breezes, and soulful tunes that recalls the early years of the Newport Jazz Festival when Doris was known to bring musicians back to Rough Point for informal musical performances. Featuring Joe Albano and the Jazz Lords, this program will take place outside. In the event of rain, our alternate date will be July 31.
Ask a Gardener
July 27 & August 31 / 11:00 – 11:30 am / Rough Point Museum
Free with house or grounds admission.
Tour the Rough Point grounds in the company of experts – once a month our estate gardeners share their expertise on a range of topics from plant identification to organic garden care. Get insider tips about how the Rough Point staff keeps the grounds looking lush and how to incorporate those practices in your own home garden. This program takes place outside and is weather dependent. Tours meet at the camels.
Creative Survival Installation
July 29 / 5:00 – 7:00 pm / $20 / Whitehorne House Museum
The 1696 Heritage Group takes over Whitehorne House Museum for one night only, telling the stories of the enslaved and free Africans who worked in the artisan trades in colonial Newport. Public historians Theresa Guzman and Keith Stokes lead this small group experience and invite us to see the museum and its furniture collection through the lens of African artisans and their contributions to Newport’s “Golden Age.”
Rough Point Plant Sale
August 3 / 9:30 am – 12:30 pm / Rough Point Museum
You’ll want to save some space in your garden for this sale! Our estate gardeners have culled over 400 perennials from Doris Duke’s historic gardens, and this is your chance to plant a little bit of history in your home garden. One-gallon, five-gallon, and baby plants already rooted in soil will be priced to sell. This program takes place outside and is weather dependent. A rain date is set for August 10.
Floral Design Workshop
August 3 / 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
August 22 / 3:00 – 5:00 pm
$40; advance registration required / Rough Point Museum
Take home a one-of-a-kind reminder of Rough Point’s gardens. Led by estate gardener and floral designer Alyssa Leach, this workshop is for novices and experts alike and borrows inspiration from Doris Duke’s historic flower gardens. Materials included, and participants will each take home a mixed arrangement of their own design.
The Myth & Mystique of Doris Duke’s Inner Circle
August 8 / 5:00 – 7:00 pm / $15 / Rough Point Museum
Most people came to know Doris Duke through newspaper headlines and paparazzi images, but who did Doris count among her close friends and confidantes? While Doris’s name was connected to other celebrities like Andy Warhol, Imelda Marcos, and Jackie Onassis, those who knew her best are less well-known. Join us as we unveil the most intimate and influential relationships in Doris’s life.
August 13 / 5:00 – 7:00 pm / FREE / Whitehorne House Museum
Celebrate the reopening of Newport’s furniture museum by picking out your new favorite piece of early American furniture or rediscovering the fun of Legos and Tinker Toys. Light refreshments provided in the museum’s colonial revival garden.
For information on all events, visit newportrestoration.org/events.
As I write this post, fall is in the air, and I am fast approaching the end of my first “season” in Newport. Whitehorne House will close at the end of October, and Rough Point will close in mid-November,
Doris Duke (1912-1993) was a tobacco heiress, generous philanthropist, savvy businesswoman, discerning collector, visionary preservationist—and amateur musician.
Celebrate the fall season with Newport Restoration Foundation.
On the morning of my first day at NRF as the Laird Museum Studies Intern, I nearly missed my exit. When I pulled onto the I-95 South ramp from Providence, I realized that if I just kept driving, the interstate would take me all the way down the Eastern Seaboard to North Carolina.