Rhode Island School of Design Museum is a prominent art museum in Providence, Rhode Island affiliated with the well-known Rhode Island School of Design. The museum was founded in 1877 and is the 20th largest art museum in the United States.
The Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design (The RISD Museum) contains a broad range of works from around the World, including Egypt, Asia, Africa, ancient Greece and Rome, Europe, and the Americas.
It also features many notable works by a range Rhode Island artists such as 17th century Newport furniture makers Goddard and Townsend and nineteenth century Rhode Island painters, such as Anglo-American impressionist John Noble Barlow and portraitist Gilbert Stuart. The museum also features prominent international and American artists such as Picasso, Monet, Manet, Paul Revere, and Andy Warhol. The RISD Museum houses over 86,000 works of art.
The department of Ancient Art includes bronze figural sculpture and vessels, an exceptional collection of Greek coins (that grew out of the collection donated by Henry A. Greene), stone sculpture, Greek vases, paintings, and mosaics, a fine collection of Roman jewelry and glass, and teaching examples of terracottas.
The department of Asian Art contains ceramics, costume, prints, painting, sculpture, and textiles. One of the highlights of the collection is the peerless group of over six hundred nineteenth-century Japanese bird-and-flower prints that were collected by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller. The collection of over 100 surimono (privately published woodblock prints) are considered the finest assemblage outside Japan.
Created in 2000, the department of Contemporary Art oversees an eclectic collection of painting, sculpture, video, mixed media, and interdisciplinary work, dating from 1960 to the present. In addition, the department regularly organizes exhibitions that highlight important issues, trends and individual explorations in recent art.
Costume and Textiles:
The Museum has been actively exhibiting textiles for one hundred years and today the department of Costume and Textiles consists of over 15,000 objects, dating from antiquity to the present. The collection is divided roughly into eleven thousand flat textiles and four thousand costume and accessories that trace the history of fabric and dress.
A collection of national significance, it contains outstanding examples of European and American costume and textiles from the 17th through 20th centuries, and is very strong in the areas of Peruvian, Coptic, African, Native American, Oceanic, and Asian textiles.
The Decorative Arts collection encompasses European and American decorative arts (furniture, silver and other metalwork, wallpaper, ceramics, and glass) from the Medieval period to the present. A major highlight of the department is the Charles L. Pendleton Collection of furniture made by 18th-century Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Newport cabinetmakers.
Painting and Sculpture:
The Painting and Sculpture collection contains more than 2,500 works of European and American art from the medieval period to 1960. The Italian Renaissance and Baroque periods are represented by the work of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Lippo Memmi, Jacopo Sansovino, Alessandro Magnasco, and others.
The collection also includes major work by such northern European masters as Tilman Riemenschneider, Hendrick Goltzius, Joachim Wtewael, Salomon van Ruysdael, and Georg Vischer.
Prints, Drawings and Photographs:
The department of Prints, Drawings + Photographs oversees approximately 18,000 European and American works on paper from the 15th century to the present. Included in the collection are important examples of Old Master drawings and prints, among them works by Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt and Goya.