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
Third Thursday 5-9pm
March Press Release
Exhibitions Currently on View
Repair & Design Futures
On view through June 30, 2019
A humble act first born of necessity, repair is an expression of resistance to the unmaking of our world and the environment. Repair and Design Futures is a multidisciplinary exhibition and programming series that investigates mending as material intervention, metaphor, and as a call to action. In this context, repair is framed as a useful exercise applied to beloved textiles and as a global, socially engaged practice within contemporary art and design culture, addressing environmental and sociopolitical ruptures. Objects range from Japanese boro garments and Indian Kutch quilts to a hunter’s ensemble from Mali, a Naskapi caribou coat, Swiss worker’s trousers, and fashionable and utilitarian American clothing. Close examination of darns, patches, and stabilized areas of these emotive, often everyday objects acts as a springboard to considering and discussing the ways in which mending can serve as a visual and emotional aid to socially engaged design thinking.
Bona Drag: An Incomplete History of Drag and Cross-Gender Performance in Film and Video Art
On View through July 7, 2019
This program of film and video works presents a short exploration of drag culture and performance in contemporary art. Drag is the theatrical practice of adopting the styles and sensibilities of a different gender, and Bona Drag reveals how artists have used this form to challenge traditional definitions of sexuality and social and cultural conventions. Ranging from Andy Warhol’s experimental film Mario Banana (1964) to more recent work, Bona Drag includes artists such as Charles Atlas (whose work has frequently featured drag icons such as Lady Bunny and Leigh Bowery); Suzie Silver (whose video Freebird spoofs hypermasculine southern rock music through female-to-male drag); and Chez Deep and Sasha Velour (whose videos and performances present experimental and avant-garde approaches to drag).
Visions and Revisions
On View through August 4, 2019
Visions and Revisions tells the story of the invention, reuse, and revival of traditional printmaking techniques throughout the history of that groundbreaking medium. From the very beginning, printmakers have been keenly aware of their artistic lineage, repeatedly confronting and transforming earlier achievements. In addition to emulating their contemporaries, printmakers have consistently revived historic techniques, often overcoming considerable technical challenges to adopt an established aesthetic and adapt it to their own needs. With artists ranging from Albrecht Dürer to Mary Cassatt, from Rembrandt to Kara Walker, this exhibition highlights the astonishingly creative results of repeated encounters with authoritative precedents, celebrating the enduring dialogue between “old masters” and modern and contemporary artists.