Rhode Island Art History

with an emphasis on representational art



This section of the Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) catalogue Topics in American Art is devoted to the topic "Rhode Island Art History." Articles and essays specific to this topic published in TFAO's Resource Library are listed at the beginning of the section. Clicking on titles takes readers directly to the articles and essays.

Following the links to Resource Library articles and essays are a listing of museums in the state which have provided materials to Resource Library for this or any other topic.

Listed after Resource Library articles, essays and museums are links to online resources outside the TFAO website. Following these resources is information about offline resources including DVDs, paper-printed books, journals and articles. Our goal is to present complete knowledge relating to this section of Topics in American Art.

TFAO welcomes volunteers to further the broadening of knowledge related to this topic. To learn more about TFAO's many volunteer opportunities please click here. Volunteers are welcome to contribute suggestions for additional content in this catalogue. Please see Catalogue and database management for details.


Resource Library essays listed by author name in alphabetical order, followed by articles:

Providence Art Club

Following the Thread: Contemporary and Historic Rhode Island Quilts

We recommend that researchers always search within Resource Library for additional material. Please see TFAO's page How to research topics not listed for more information. As of April, 2015 Resource Library contains 246 pages including the state's name.


Museums and other non-profit sources of Resource Library articles and essays:

Newport Art Museum

Providence Art Club


Other online information:

Art Association of Newport from Newport Art Museum. [Link found to be expired as of 2015 audit. TFAO is saving the citation for use by researchers.]

Artists from Rhode Island in Wikipedia. Accessed August, 2015.

Bert Gallery has video and podcasts relating to historic Rhode Island art on its website. Accessed August, 2015.

Picturing the Worthies: An Introduction to The Brown Portrait Collection by Robert P. Emlen, from Brown University. Accessed August, 2015.

Rhode Island (sampling of artists and works connected to state) from askArt. Accessed August, 2015.


TFAO's Distinguished Artists catalogue provides online access to biographical information for artists associated with this state. Also, Search Resource Library for online articles and essays concerning both individual artists associated with this state's history and the history of art centers and museums in this state. Resource Library articles and essays devoted to individual artists and institutions are not listed on this page.


Books, listed by year of publication, with most recently published book listed first:

Outdoor Sculpture of Rhode Island, By Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission, Published by Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission. 1999. 83 pages

The Eden of America: Rhode Island Landscapes, 1820-1920, By Robert G. Workman, Lloyd Goodrich, Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, John Wilmerding. Published by Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, 1986. ISBN 0911517103, 9780911517101. 84 pages. "Catalog of the exhibition held at the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Jan. 24 to Apr. 27, 1986." (text courtesy of Google Books)

Providence Art Club, 1880-1980: A First Century Story, By Providence Art Club. Published by Providence Art Club, 1980

Hidden Treasure: Public Sculpture in Providence, By Robert Freeman, Vivienne Lasky. Published by Published for the Rhode Island Publications Society by the Rhode Island Bicentennial Foundation, 1980. ISBN 0917012232, 9780917012235. 72 pages

Monumenta: A Biennial Exhibition of Outdoor Sculpture, Newport, Rhode Island, August 17 Through October 13, 1974, By Sam Hunter, Monumenta Newport Inc. Published by Monumenta Newport Inc., 1974. 96 pages

American Paintings in the Rhode Island Historical Society, By Frank Henry Goodyear, Published by Rhode Island Historical Society, 1974. 116 pages

Early Portraits in Rhode Island, 1700-1850: An Exhibition to Honor the Seventy-fifth Anniversary of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, 8 March-9 April 1967, By Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, National Society of the Colonial Dames of America Rhode Island, Rhode Island, Published by Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art 1967. 24 pages

The Arts and Crafts of Newport, Rhode Island, 1640-1820, By Ralph E. Carpenter. Published by Preservation Society of Newport, RI, 1954. Original from the University of Michigan. Digitized Feb 6, 2008. 219 pages

Retrospective Exhibition of the Work of Artists Identified with Newport, By R.I Art Association of Newport, Published by Art Association of Newport,., 1936. 34 pages

The Providence World War Memorial, By Henry Tritton Samson, F Usher DeVoll, Frederick Usher De Voll, Akerman-Standard Company, Akerman-Standard Co. Published by The Akerman-Standard Co, 1929. 16 pages

The Rhode Island School of Design: A Half-century Record, (1878-1928), By Elsie S Bronson, Rhode Island School of Design. Published by The Author, 1928

Who's who in Rhode Island art: A supplement to Two centuries of art in Rhode Island, 1728-1928, by Grace L Slocum

Art and Artists in Rhode Island, By John Nelson Arnold, Rhode Island Citizens Historical Association. Published by Chronicle Printing Co.], 1905. 47 pages



Nancy Whipple Grinnell, "Rhode Island Painters of the Late 19th Century" American Art Review, January-February 2008 (Volume XX, Number 1)


Do you know of additional sources whether online or paper-printed? TFAO welcomes your suggestions. Please send them to:

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