RISD Museum

about the museum

Southeastern New England’s only comprehensive art museum, the RISD Museum—was established in 1874. Its permanent collection of more than 91,000 objects includes paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, costume, furniture, and other works of art from every part of the world—including objects from ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, and art of all periods from Asia, Europe, and the Americas, up to the latest in contemporary art. The Museum also offers a wide array of educational and public programs to more than 100,000 visitors annually.

20 North Main Street

Tues-Sun 10am-5pm
Third Thursday 5-9pm

Wheelchair accessible


September press release

Gorham Silver: Designing Brilliance

On view through December 2019

1850-1970 casts new light on the legacy of this distinctive company, established in 1831 in Providence, Rhode Island. Home to the largest collection of Gorham, the RISD Museum presents exceptional silver and mixed-metal wares, reflecting the industry, artistry, innovation, and technology of the manufactory for 120 years. Adeptly coupling art and industry, Gorham boldly rose from a small firm to become the largest silver company in the world, putting uniquely American design on the international stage. Creating everything from commissioned presentation pieces to show-stoppers for the dining room, Gorham responded to the era’s desire to celebrate, feast, socialize, honor, and simply enjoy the everyday in style. Accompanied by a major publication (Rizzoli) with stunning new imagery and recent research, the exhibition will travel to the Cincinnati Art Museum and The Mint Museum.

David Hartt: Stray Light

On View: July 19 - November 3

Stray Light presents various views of the former offices of Chicago’s Johnson Publishing Company, famous for producing Jet and Ebony magazines, which defined African American culture in the postwar era. Designed by architect John Moutoussamy, a student of Mies Van Der Rohe, the Johnson Publishing building was erected in 1971, the first skyscraper in Chicago owned and designed by African Americans. Hartt’s work, shot in the muted atmosphere immediately prior to the 2011 sale of the building, prompts consideration of the decline of the publishing industry. It also illuminates the manner in which racial pride and identity is expressed through the style of Arthur Elrod’s distinctive interior design and the personal effects in the employees’ workspaces.

Hartt lives and works in Philadelphia. His work has been widely exhibited in both solo and group exhibitions. He is the recipient of a United States Artists Cruz Fellowship and a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award.

RISD Museum is supported by a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, through an appropriation by the Rhode Island General Assembly and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and with the generous partnership of the Rhode Island School of Design, its Board of Trustees, and Museum Governors.

Erik Magnussen, designer  Cubic Coffee Service drawing, 1927

Erik Magnussen, designer

Cubic Coffee Service drawing, 1927

Tea and Coffee Service, ca. 1860

Tea and Coffee Service, ca. 1860

David Hartt,  Stray Light , 2011. Georgianna Sayles Aldrich Fund. © David Hartt. RISD Museum, Providence, RI. Film still courtesy Corbett vs. Dempsey.

David Hartt, Stray Light, 2011. Georgianna Sayles Aldrich Fund. © David Hartt.
RISD Museum, Providence, RI. Film still courtesy Corbett vs. Dempsey.