Archive for the ‘Newport Art and Culture’ Category

Newport Festivals Foundation: Jazz and Folk

July 25th, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

The Newport Jazz Festival and the Newport Folk Festival are two of the most popular festivals that happen in Newport every year.  Both festivals started in the 1950′s and attract thousands of people from all over to celebrate jazz and folk music.

George Wein produced the first Jazz Festival in 1954 and five years later, with the help of Pete Seeger, he founded Newport’s Folk Festival.  In 2010, Wein realized that the best chance for these festivals to continue after his passing was to create a non-profit corporation.  Since he’d been in the business for quite some time, running a for profit business, he knew the best way to keep his festivals alive was through grants and donations through foundations and fans.

The mission of the Newport Festivals Foundation is to maintain both the Jazz and Folk Festivals in perpetuity and to keep them at historic locations.  They want to present all forms of jazz and folk music from the past and present and showcase performers who recognize the freedom of creativity that is necessary to grow in these styles of music.  This foundation brings together traditional jazz and folk music with new contemporary versions of these styles.  Performers come from all over the world and this foundation hopes to create partnerships around the world.

The Newport Festivals Foundation also hopes to educate young people about these types of music through partnerships with local grade schools and universities.  In association with Salve Regina University (located in Newport), this foundation has put together an annual jazz workshop for high school students.  Most recently they have started a family concert at Fort Adams in order to introduce children to jazz and folk music.  The Newport Festivals Foundation also brings in local jazz bands to the Jazz Festival, which gives them a chance of a lifetime.

Thanks to George Wein, generations will be able to enjoy jazz and folk music for years to come.

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Newport Antiques Show

July 18th, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

St. George’s School in Middletown will be hosting the Newport Antiques Show from July 25th through the 27th, with a Gala Preview Party kicking things off on July 24th.  This show began in 2007 and has become one of the nation’s premier antiques venues.  It showcases a wide variety of important American antiques from over forty of the top dealers in the country.  There will be a variety of paintings, folk art, jewelry, furniture and more on display over the weekend.  This show benefits both the Newport Historical Society and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Newport County.

The exhibit “Fifty Objects That Shaped Rhode Island History,” presented by both the Rhode Island and Newport Historical Societies, will be making its debut at this years Newport Antiques Show and will tell the story of Rhode Island’s founding through its 20th century history.  Themes such as tolerance and freedom, ingenuity and entrepreneurship, craftsmanship, immigration, revolution and the sea will be used to help share the story.  Some of the featured items are Roger William’s compass-sundial and the shirt worn by Governor Garrahy during the Blizzard of 1978.   On July 25th at 11am there will be a presentation called “Big History, Little State, Smaller Booth: 375 years in 50 objects.”  The objects in this exhibit will have been selected from thousands of objects, which takes a lot of thought, research and discussion.  At this presentation, Kirsten Hammersrom, the Director of Collections at the Rhode Island Historical Society, will be discussing the process used in selecting the items for the exhibit.

Some of the many exhibitors for the Newport Antiques Show include: Antique American Wicker, Sue Brown, Essex Antiquarians, J. Gallagher, Hanes & Ruskin, Hill-Stone, Inc., Johanna Antiques, Kelleher Fine Art, Leatherwood Antiques, Malcolm Magruder, Oriental Rugs Ltd., Rehs Gallery, Stephen Score Inc., Jayne Thompson Antiques, The Silver Vault, Jeffrey Tollou Antiques, Village Braider Antiques, Inc., White’s Nautical Antiques and many more.

Tickets are available for both the show and the Gala.  One day passes can be purchased, as well as a three day unlimited pass.

The 46th Newport Music Festival

July 11th, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

The Newport Music Festival has been around since 1969 and has produced over 2,100 concerts in a variety of venues throughout Newport, including the Preservation Society’s Historic Mansions.  They have brought over 1,000 artists to the stage, including over 100 who made their American debut.  While the first Music Festival took place in 1953, the festival as we know it today didn’t start until 1969, three years after the non-for profit, the Rhode Island Arts Foundation at Newport, Inc. was incorporated.

The early years of the Newport Music Festival were an important part of romantic revival and included many members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.  They partnered with the Preservation Society of Newport County, which brought the music back to venues that it was created to play in.  Dr. Mark P. Malkovich III became the Festival’s General Director in 1975 and remained in the position until 2008 when his son, Mark Malkovich IV assumed the role.  Dr. Malkovich became well known for introducing young international artists and showcasing emerging American artists.stacks_image_3382[1]

The Newport Music Festival showcases music from the Romantic era (1820-1910), but has also expanded and includes a wide variety from Bach to Bernstein. This years festival will be held from July 11th through the 27th and will include 68 concerts, about 3-5 per day.  Morning concerts will be held at 11am, afternoon at 4pm, and nighttime performances will be held at 8pm or 9pm, depending on the location.  Concerts will include chamber music, ragtime and tango and several concerts will occur as tribute to the 150th anniversary of the German composer, Richard Strauss.  Around 80 musicians from 18 countries will be performing, 30 of which will be making their Newport debuts.  The festival will open on July 11th with the Hungarian pianist, Gergely Bogányi, and will end with a two piano, two percussion ensemble “extravaganza.”

Concerts will be held at a variety of locations including: Aldrich Mansion, Blithewold Mansion, the Newport Grand Events Center, Rosecliff, the Breakers, the Elms, Casino Theater, Redwood Library, CCRI, St. George’s School Chapel, Saint John the Evangelist, Edward King House, Touro Synagogue and the Newport Art Museum.

 

Newport Art Museum

June 6th, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

The Newport Art Museum, accredited fully by the American Association of Museums, holds collections and exhibitions that reflect Rhode Island’s cultural heritage and contemporary art scene.  They have been a cultural gathering place for over 100 years and have a reputation for high quality exhibitions and programs.  They are the only museum that focuses on the art and artists of Rhode Island.  They also have an art school, the Minnie and Jimmy Coleman Center for Creative Studies (founded in 1913) that encourages people of all ages to attend art classes, camps and workshops in order to explore their creativity.

The Newport Art Museum has a permanent collection of over 2,300 works of American art.  This art focuses on artistic activity from the late 19th century to the present day, as well as works that emphasize the role Newport and New England artists had in the development of American art.newport-art-museum-1[1]

Some of the artists displayed in the Newport Art Museum are:  19th and 20th century artists William Trost Richards, John Frederick Kensett and George Bellows, impressionists, Howard Gardiner Cushing and Helena Sturtevant, and contemporary artists such as Dale Chihuly, Italo Scanga, Aaron Siskind and Toots Zynsky, among many others.

Special Exhibitions are taken from the permanent collections as well as other museums and private collections.  They display a variety of themes and are accompanied by special programs.  Three current exhibitions are: Elizabeth Congdon: Heaven and Earth (May 10th-August 12th), Mary Chatowski Jameson: Marine Botanicals (May 17th-Spetember 1st), Corrine Colarusso: Magic Gold, Full Sun (May 17th-Septemeber 7th), and “Very Simple Charm,” the Early Life and Work of Richard Morris Hunt in Newport (May 31st-September 14th).

The Newport Art Museum hosts a variety of events throughout the year including gallery nights and talks, Murder at the Museum nights, lectures, lunch with artists, a variety of workshops and more.

Newport Restoration Foundation

May 30th, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

The non-profit organization – Newport Restoration Foundation – was founded by Doris Duke in 1968 with the purpose of preserving, interpreting, and maintaining landscape and objects reflecting architectural culture of the 18th and 19th century on Aquidneck Island.  It maintains this mission by being a leader in historic preservation in Newport Country, preserving a collection of the arts of cabinetmaking and art and artifacts from Doris Duke and using these collections for educational purposes.  Since its start, the Newport Restoration Foundation has preserved or restored 83 buildings, and owns 78 historic buildings, most of which are rented as private residences.  This is one of the largest collections of period architecture in the country owned by a single organization.

Besides their commitment to maintaining the historic architecture of the area, the Newport Restoration Foundation also owns and operates three properties that are open to the public as museums.  These include Rough Point – the mansion owned by Doris Duke, the Whitehorne House - which houses a collection of 18th Century Newport furniture, and Prescott Farm – an example of early American architecture and landscape.

The Newport Restoration Foundation also runs a variety of history tours that help visitors learn about different aspects of Newport’s magnificent history. “Discover Colonial Newport,” is a tour that involves revolution and ruin and the struggles for religious liberty in Newport.  “From Golden to Gilded” takes visitors through the transformation of Newport from a colonial age to a gilded summer colony. “Rum and Revolution” discusses the booming rum trade and its activity throughout the Prohibition era.  “Souls & Stones” takes guests to the Common Burying Ground and explores the art of gravestone carving and discusses the diverse group of people buried there.  These are just a few of the great historic tours offered.  All tours leave from the Museum and Shop at the Brick Market Place on Thames Street and last about 75 minutes.

Green Animals Topiary Garden is Open for the Season

May 16th, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

The Green Animals Topiary Garden opened for the season last week.  As part of the Preservation Society of Newport County, this mansion, located in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, gives visitors the chance to visit the oldest and most northern Topiary Garden in the United States.

This seven acre estate was purchased in 1872 by Thomas E. Brayton as a summer home.  His gardener, Joseph Carreiro, and son-in-law, George Mendonca, were responsible for creating the topiaries.  The gardens, which include more than 80 pieces of topiary, almost completely outshine the house.  The estate includes sculptured trees and shrubs in the shapes of various animals like camels and giraffes, flower beds, and fruit and vegetable gardens.  The white wood frame house contains family furnishings and has become a small toy museum.green-animals-topiary-garden-main[1]

Brayton’s daughter, Alice, gave the estate it’s name, the Green Animals Topiary Garden, and became a permanent residence there in 1939.  At the age of 94, Alice passed away and left her estate to the Preservation Society of Newport County and is still considered one of the finest Topiary Gardens in the United States.

The Atlantic Cup is Back in Newport

May 9th, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

The Atlantic Cup is a three-leg event held in Charleston, New York and Newport, that showcases some of the top Class 40 Sailors in the U.S. and world.  Presented by 11th Hour Racing, this is the only racing event dedicated to Class 40 sailing, as well as one of the most environmentally sustainable races in the U.S.  The 2012 race was the first carbon neutral race and this years race will aim for the same thing.  Participating teams will be required to have an alternative energy source, such as fuel cells or solar panels.

There are three legs of the Atlantic Cup, which begin in Charleston, South Carolina on May 10th.  This leg is a long offshore race that will be raced double handed.  The second leg starts on May 17th in New York and is a shorter, double-handed, offshore sprint.  Finally, the race ends in Newport and takes things inshore.  The last leg starts on May 24th and takes place in Narragansett Bay, with a maximum crew of six.  The race incorporates both offshore and inshore racing so that the competitors are skilled in two different sailing disciplines: ocean and buoy racing.  This makes the event competitive and guarantees the winner is a “complete sailor.”  The two types of racing also levels the playing field against different yacht designs and makes the competition extremely close.

The combined overall winner of the three legs becomes the Atlantic Cup Champion.  Last years winner was Bodacious Dream, who held the first place seat the entire duration of the race.  They had previously came in 2nd in the 2012 America’s Cup race.

The third leg in Newport spans two day, which are filled with sailing and events for everyone.  Racing takes place on May 24th and 25th from 11am to 4pm.  Other activities associated with the event will start as early as the 22nd.logo[1]

Jane Pickens Theater

May 2nd, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

If you’re looking to see a movie without leaving the city limits of Newport, the Jane Pickens Theater and Event Center is your destination.  It is the only movie house in the downtown area and is known for the films it screens and the events that take place there.  800px-Jane_Pickens_Theater_Newport_RIThe theater shows the best movies available, screening a variety of first run movies, classic films and documentaries.  The theater and event space have are based on history and their goal is to make their events memorable for community members and visitors alike.  The Jane Pickens Theater also does a lot of fundraising for various community non-profits.  It is one of America’s oldest theater buildings and it is important for them to maintain the historic importance of the building.

The theater is located in Washington Square, which is only a few blocks from the Inn, and was built in 1834.  It was originally the Zion Episcopal Church but became a theater in 1919, originally called The Strand.

The theater was renamed by the then owner, Joe Jarvis, in 1974, after Jane Pickens, an accomplished singer, actress, politician and philanthropist. Jane and her sister Patti performed at the dedication and renaming of the theater. 220px-Jane_Pickens Jane split here time between New York City and Newport, eventually retiring to Newport, after her success as a singer, radio host, Broadway actress and Republican Congress candidate.  Here she maintained her impressive involvement with charity.

The Staabs purchased the theater in 2004 and continued to keep the entertainment alive, renaming the theater, a year later, to the Jane Pickens Theater & Event Center, in order to include the special events that were becoming an important part of the theater.  A preservation group called the Friends of the Jane Pickens was created in 2008 to help maintain the building for the long term and to enhance the use of the theater for education.

For showtimes and event schedules, visit the Jane Pickens Website.

 

Celebrating Newport’s 375th Anniversary

April 18th, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

Ann Hutchinson and her followers left Boston and settled on Aquidneck Island in order to gain religious freedom.  After a few years, in 1639, the settlement divided, and a group led by William Codington and Nicholas Easton moved south and formed Newport.  The founders were dedicated to religious freedom, and Newport became one of the first secular democracies in the Atlantic.  Many Quakers and Jews were attracted to this religious freedom and settled on the island.  The town transformed from a small agricultural outpost to one of the five leading seaports in colonial America.

Although there were a variety of religions practiced in Newport, the Quakers became the most influential, dominating political, social and economical life.  Their plain lifestyle was reflected in architecture, landscape and decorative arts.   They were some of the finest craftsman, who made extraordinary furniture. Newport’s architectural heritage can be traced back to the 17th century, when building such as the Old Stone Mill and the White Horse Tavern were built.  Newport’s economics were based on exporting rum, candles, fish, silver and furniture, which fueled their economic growth.  The water front was very busy during this time, and over 150 separate wharves and shops crowded the harbor.  Trade grew, and Newport became an epicenter of modern American capitalism, becoming one of the five leading ports in North America by 1760.  This growth led to a “building boom,” including hundreds of houses and important structures such as the Trinity Church, Colony House, Redwood Library and Brick Market.

The British held Newport from 1776-1779 and hundreds fled.  The British remained until they were driven out by the French, who then stayed until 1783. Due to the damage the British had done to Newport’s economy, Newport had to re-invent itself in the 1900′s.  It transformed into a summer resort area.  Newport became a center for influential writers, artists, educators, scientists, architects and landscape designers during the antebellum period.  Wealthy families such as the Griswolds, Kings and Vanderbilts built mansions in Newport to use as their summer cottages.

Newport maintained its ties to the seas and trading ships filled the water.  Newport started becoming a yachting capital and in the 1930′s, America’s Cup was brought to Newport until 1983.  The Navy also became an important part of Newport and have been based here since the 1860′s.  The Naval War College and Torpedo Station were built after the Civil War and the Navy presence grew.  Today, the Navy is still the largest employer in the area.

After World War II, a preservation movement saved hundreds of structures throughout Newport County.  The Newport Historical Society, Preservation Society of Newport County and the Newport Restoration Foundation were formed, and “Heritage Tourism” became a popular pull for tourists, and helped boost the economy.  Now there are a variety of reasons to visit Newport, whether you’re interested in history, beautiful scenery or an active boating life.

This year, Newport is celebrating its 375th Anniversary.  It will be a year long celebration featuring family activities, lectures, educational programs and public celebrations.  Some activities include: a scavenger hunt, community cookout, community parade, musical tributes, public clambake and a gala at the end of the year.

 

 

 

Doris Duke House: Rough Point

April 11th, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

In Newport, Rhode Island, Doris Duke was a lifelong preservationist and devoted much of her fortune to restoring colonial buildings in the city where she spent her summersRough_Point,_Newport_RI. She founded the Newport Restoration Foundation in 1968 with the purpose of preserving Newport’s 18th- and 19th-century architectural heritage. Her extraordinary vision resulted in an almost single-handed rescue of Newport’s early architectural heritage. Newport thrives today in large part due to its many unique historic streetscapes.

Doris Duke, the only child of James Buchanan Duke, was born on November 22, 1912. Her father was a founder of the American Tobacco Company and the Duke Power Company, as well as a benefactor of Duke University. When Mr. Duke died in 1925, he left his 12-year old daughter an estate estimated at $80 million.

As a collector, Duke spent much of her time traveling the world, amassing coudoris-dukentless treasures and notable collections of Islamic and Southeast Asian art. She also traveled throughout Europe building her collection of fine art and furniture, much of which she used to furnish Rough Point, her home in Newport. She left Rough Point, intact as she lived in it, to the Newport Restoration Foundation to be opened as a museum. Two of her other homes are also open to the public. Visit Shangri-La in Hawaii which is home to an impressive collection of Islamic art. Explore Duke Farms, Doris’s 2,700 acre New Jersey estate featuring remarkable outdoor resources such as walking trails, gardens and environmental programs.

Doris Duke gave away more than $400 million to various causes during her lifetime, often as anonymous contributions. Upon her death in 1993, she left her vast fortune to the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation which supports the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and the prevention of child abuse.

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