Telling Stories:

People. Places. Legacy.

The people who lived in, worked in, and worshipped in what are now NRF Preservation Properties reflect the diversity of experiences of Newporters from the mid-18th century to the present. NRF is committed to the preservation and sharing of intangible cultural heritage — continuing Doris Duke’s legacy.

Telling Stories researches, documents, and shares narratives of residents who lived in NRF historic properties, with a focus on those who are left out of traditional historical narratives, and develops public programming that creatively shares stories and invites participants to make connections to their own lived experiences. It also serves as a hub for memory and memory-keeping through oral histories, memory essays, photographs, home videos, etc.

As a Dispersed Monument, the Telling Stories initiative encompasses a wide range of storytelling efforts covering narratives and histories across the city of Newport. This project is centered on the houses, structures, and places under NRF stewardship, but focuses on the lives and lived experiences of the people who built, lived in, worked in, restored, and care for them today.


Rough Point Museum

Rough Point Museum was the Newport home of heiress, collector, and philanthropist Doris Duke (1912-1993). Explore Doris Duke’s life and legacy, her collection of art, and the work of the Newport Restoration Foundation.

Vernon House

The William Vernon House (circa 1708 & 1760) is one of the most historically significant buildings in Newport, Rhode Island. The house is connected to many integral stories from Newport’s history and today is a venue for contemporary storytelling and conversations.

Preservation Properties Maps Section

Preservation Properties

Every structure carries a long history of the residents who lived and worked in the home, the builders who changed the structure through time, and the people responsible for its restoration. These narratives form the heart of Telling Stories, NRF’s initiative sharing the intangible heritage of these buildings.


The Newport Restoration Foundation maintains an extensive and diverse collection of objects, including objects that reflect the Gilded Age tastes of Doris Duke’s parents, what Doris purchased as a complement to the items she inherited, objects celebrating Newport’s colonial craft, and what Doris left in her closets and attics when she died in 1993. Major works in the collection include British and European portraiture, European furniture and other decorative arts, 18th-century Newport decorative arts, 16th-century Flemish tapestries, Chinese export ceramics, and 20th-century couture fashion, but we also have several spectacular outliers and personal items from Doris Duke’s lifetime.


Special exhibitions share the life and legacy of Doris Duke through objects and stories with a focus on NRF’s mission-driven work. Explore current and past exhibitions here.

Plan your visit.