From stunning scenery to its rich history, Newport is known for many wonderful things. So many things, in fact, that some of its most alluring attractions get lost in the mix. One of our favorite lesser-known spots to see and be seen in Newport? The National Museum of American Illustration (NMAI). Let’s take a closer look at this world-renowned destination, and why it’s worth a visit on your next trip to Newport.
Gilded Age Meets Golden Age
Where best to showcase highlights from the “Golden Age of American Illustration” than in the capital of the Gilded Age? Describing itself as “American civilization, illustrated,” NMAI is home to a vast collection of paintings and drawings which add up to a one-of-a-kind “virtual catalog of bygone styles and days.”
Reserve a private tour; explore the American Imagists Collection, exhibitions and events at your own pace; or stroll through the museum’s magnificent gardens and parks, including a majestic marble terrace, dramatic sunken garden, luxurious rose garden, and many other sensorially immersive vistas. And really -- where else but glamour-soaked Newport will you find gardens inspired by those of the ill-fated Anne Boleyn?
NMAI Summer Highlights
In addition to its permanent collection, NMAI’s also plays host to a compelling parade of exhibits, including this summer’s “Norman Rockwell and his Contemporaries” (until September 4). We’re all familiar with Rockwell’s inimitable Saturday Evening Post covers. The exhibit pays homage to the cultural and historical significance of Rockwell’s quintessential American scenes, while also highlighting the work of his Golden Age contemporaries, including John Clymer, Stevan Dohanos, John Falter, George Hughes, and Mead Schaeffer.
Also on exhibit this summer at NMAI? The fascinating “Secrets Behind the Wall: The Don Trache Replicas” (until September 4), which comes with more intrigue and drama than a contemporary bestseller. (We’re talking bitter divorce and a devious plan including originals works of art swapped out for immaculate replicas, and then tucked away behind a false wall for decades.)
Perfect for both the young and young-at-heart, meanwhile, is “My Little Pony: Under the Sparkling Sea By Mary Jane Begin” (until September 4), which depicts the “impeccable storytelling ability and extraordinary artistic skills,” of the aquatic-inspired artist tasked with writing and illustrating the newest book in the My Little Pony series.