When planning a vacation, travelers often look at a specific location and consider the amount of experiences that there are to enjoy in that given location. This is often the case when travelers are looking at various states and deciding where they would like to explore. While some states are massive and filled with countless experiences to enjoy, others are very small in size, however, this does not impact the number of amazing experiences found there.
Rhode Island is the smallest state in the United States and has a rich history that dates back to the original colonies. Officially made a state in 1790, the state is home to many historical sites and locations in addition to wonderful cities filled with amazing experiences to enjoy. From dining and nightlife to culture and history, there is much to see in Rhode Island. The state is also home to some amazing museums which offer travelers the chance to learn more about the past, art, sports, and much more. Combining the perfect elements of architectural history, artwork, and beauty, here are four museums in Rhode Island that should be enjoyed on every visit to the state!
One of the most popular museum destinations in all of Rhode Island allows visitors to feel as though they have stepped back in time and stepped into the lush world of the wealthy. The Breakers is one particular home that is part of a string of Newport Mansions that are meticulously kept by the Preservation Society of Newport County. The home was originally constructed by Cornelius Vanderbilt II in 1885 as an opulent summer escape offering breathtaking views of the ocean crashing into the rocks below.
The Breakers features seventy rooms which were inspired by the style and craftsmanship of the Italian Renaissance and were created by Richard Morris Hunt, Karl Bitter, and Ogdon Codman. Open year-round, visitors who enjoy a stop at The Breakers can opt to enjoy several tours catered to families or history and walk through the impressive rooms, servant’s quarters, and grounds. With beautiful views and the feeling as though one has stepped back in time, The Breakers is a must-do while in Rhode Island.
Providence, Rhode Island is home to countless experiences where guests can enjoy culture and art in various ways. One great location to enjoy while spending time in the city can be found at the popular and prestigious Rhode Island School of Design. The RISD Museum was established in 1877 and focuses on supporting the arts and bringing them to life in order to promote civic engagement and open societies.
With an impressive collection that features over one hundred thousand works, the RISD Museum is an unforgettable experience that can be enjoyed every Tuesday through Sunday. The eclectic collection results in a wide array of exhibits that showcase many different types of art that are brought to life through different materials and styles. Some current exhibits include Repair and Design Futures, A Changing Reflection: Silver, Metalwork, and Jewelry in the 19th-21st Centuries, Bona Drag, Visions and Revisions, Modern and Contemporary Galleries, and Ancient Egyptian Galleries. With an impressive collection of art meant to inspire, travelers should definitely plan on enjoying a stop at the RISD Museum when in Providence.
International Tennis Hall of Fame
In addition to The Breakers and other impressive homes in the string of Newport Mansions, Newport is also home to a splendid museum that takes a detailed look at one of the most popular sports in the United States. The International Tennis Hall of Fame was conceptualized in the 1950s after Jimmy Van Alen visited the National Baseball Hall of Fame and realized that no location existed for tennis. Val Alen was also the owner of the Newport Casino which was in danger of being closed, and over the years he successfully transitioned the casino into the International Tennis Hall of Fame which was officially recognized by the International Tennis Federation in 1986.
The museum is home to over twenty-five thousand artifacts, two thousand of which are constantly on display to help visitors learn about the rich history and evolution of the sport. Visitors to the International Tennis Hall of Fame can explore three main areas which share an impressive history: The Birth of Tennis (1874-1918), The Popular Game (1918-1968), and The Open Era (1968-Present). With interesting artifacts and fascinating exhibits, this is one museum that should not be missed in Rhode Island!
National Museum of American Illustration
Newport, Rhode Island is also home to another amazing museum that brings a unique form of art to life. The National Museum of American Illustration is housed in one of the classic Newport mansions that were constructed in 1898 for Mrs. Richard Van Nest Gambrill. The opulent mansion has been compared to both the White House and The Breakers and features architecture and details that are on a grandiose scale and perfectly accompany the artwork housed there today. The National Museum of American Illustration was founded by Judy Goffman Cutler and Laurence S. Cutler in 1998 and focuses mainly on what was considered to be the golden age of illustration.
Visitors who enjoy time at the National Museum of American Illustration can browse through current exhibits including American Illustration and the First World War, Howard Pyle, His Students, & The Golden Age of American Illustration, The Art of Giving: Recent Donations to the NMAI’s American Imagist Collection, American Muse, and John Rogers: The Normal Rockwell of Statuary. Visitors to Rhode Island simply must enjoy a visit to the National Museum of American Illustration, not only to enjoy the amazing array of artwork but also to take in the absolutely breathtaking architecture and style of the massive mansion home.