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.
Visit Doris Duke’s art-filled mansion and enjoy panoramic ocean views from the extensive grounds. Open late March to November.
The Vernon House is a site for expansive story-telling, contemporary dialogue, and preservation trades skill-building.
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.
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Newport, RI — Newport Restoration Foundation is pleased to collaborate with Christie’s Auction House on a special lecture event for their upcoming Americana Week (January 17 – 24). On Wednesday, January 22 at 4:30 pm, NRF’s Director of Museums Dr. Erik Greenberg will present Furniture Forward: A New Approach to Interpreting Doris Duke’s Furniture Collection at the Whitehorne House Museum in Christie’s Boardroom at their headquarters in New York City. A reception will follow at Christie’s beginning at 5:30 pm.
During Americana Week, Christie’s will hold three auctions (as well as associated programming) that speak to themes of American beginnings, patriotism, diversity and influence. The series begins with the Outsider Art sale that highlights exceptional artists such as Bill Traylor, Henry Darger and William Edmondson. Chinese Export Art Featuring the Tibor Collection, Part II showcases Chinese Export porcelain, specifically famille rose soldier vases, covers, and court lady candleholders. And The Important American Furniture, Folk Art and Silver auction closes the week with an array of extraordinary artworks and objects, including pieces from the collection of the late Ralph E. Carpenter, the renowned collector, curator, and advocate for the restoration and preservation of Newport’s decorative arts and architecture.
The Whitehorne House Museum was NRF’s first museum, opening in 1974, and for many years it served as a domestic house museum. In 2017, the museum closed, as staff, outside scholars, and others reinterpreted the museum collection, focusing more closely on its exceptional collection of 18th-century furniture, much of it purchased by NRF’s founder, Doris Duke, and most of it from Newport in particular or Rhode Island in general. NRF uses the furniture on display to tell important stories of colonial Newport through one of its most prized creations. Staff have also developed a more engaging experience for visitors to the museum, including hands-on objects, a multimedia installation, and other opportunities for visitor engagement. It reopened on May 29th, 2019. Dr. Greenberg’s presentation will address the museum’s recent, interpretive changes while placing them in the broader context of Colonial era furniture exhibition across the country.
When asked about his upcoming talk, Greenberg noted that, “When I arrived at NRF a year ago, our interpretive staff shared with me their plans to reinterpret the Whitehorne House Museum and their desire to bring the ‘furniture forward’ from among the many utilitarian objects and decorative arts in the collection. I was taken with their vision, and have become fascinated by Newport furniture, the people who made it, purchased it, traded it, and the many stories these pieces can tell. I see my presentation at Christie’s as an announcement of our new direction, an appreciation for the work of our talented staff, and an assertion of our plan to evolve and grow into an important institution that celebrates 18th-century, Newport furniture and its stories in the city in which it was made.”
This free event is open to the public. RSVP to the lecture is required. If interested, please respond to Alicia Cipriano by Friday, January 17th 401.849.7300 ext. 117 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Christie’s is located at 20 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10020.
About the Newport Restoration Foundation
The Newport Restoration Foundation (NRF) is a non-profit organization established by philanthropist Doris Duke in 1968 to preserve the architectural and cultural heritage of 18th and 19th century Newport. NRF promotes economic and community restoration through historic preservation initiatives like Keeping History Above Water, which addresses the impact of sea-level rise on the built environment in the wake of climate change, and the Historic Trades Initiative, which harnesses the knowledge of local specialists to train the next generation of preservation craftspeople. In addition to a collection of more than 70 colonial houses, now rented to tenant stewards, NRF operates properties that are open to the public —including Rough Point, the Newport home of Doris Duke, and The Vernon House, a site of expansive storytelling, contemporary dialogue, and preservation trades skill-building.
NRF is on Facebook /NPTRestoration and Instagram @NPTRestoration. Visit newportrestoration.org for more information.