National Museum of American Illustration

National Museum of American Illustration

4:45 PM - 5:00 PM
Friday
4:45 PM - 5:00 PM
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About
The NMAI is currently closed to due renovations, opening in the late Spring. Please check back for additional information at that time. The National Museum of American Illustration (NMAI) is situated in Vernon Court, a Gilded Age mansion (1898). Vernon Court is on the Natl. Register of Historic Places with interiors inspired by the palace at Versailles. The NMAI focuses on original illustration artworks created to be reproduced in books, periodicals, advertising and in other print media. Featured artists include: Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish, Howard Pyle, JC Leyendecker, Jessie Willcox Smith, NC Wyeth and 150 others. Free parking for museum visitors is available in our lot located on Victoria Avenue.
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1-2 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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5.0
413 reviews
Excellent
344
Very good
55
Average
10
Poor
2
Terrible
2

DHPaine
Massachusetts112 contributions
Sep 2021
As an illustrator, this is an amazing place. It is mostly geared towards 1920s illustration work, but WOW a really spectacular collection. Just the mansion alone is worth the entrance fee too! Put this on your list if visiting the area.
Written June 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Amazin1
New York City, NY67 contributions
Aug 2018 • Couples
We t here with my wife she loves illustration and I was like I am not really interested, however I was truly amazed at how much I really enjoyed it. There was a self guided tour with headphones and a iPad some really amazing art and illustration. truly amazing.
Written August 21, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

raizen
Denver, CO134 contributions
May 2018 • Couples
Extensive collection of illustration art in a beautiful restored mansion. The audio tour allows you to dive into as much detail as you want. Very educational and enjoyable.
Written May 27, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

MCE1959
Lexington, MA82 contributions
Dec 2012 • Family
A little of Maxfield Parrish goes a long way, and there is a lot of Maxfield Parrish here, along with some Leyendecker and a little Rockwell. The main problem here is that the management cannot decide if it's running a museum of illustration (in which case there is much more needed in terms of curatorial and historical work) or if it is running another mansion tour. As you walk through the four main rooms, your attention is quite confusingly divided between the examples of illustration that line the walls (some of which are quite fine) and the beautiful furnishings and architectural details of the house. They don't quite go together. You could make a good case for the contrast between the artistic direction taken in these works and the Europe-besotted direction taken by the architects of the Newport mansions at around the same time -- but this does not seem to have occurred to anyone here. One thing they *have* figured out, though, is how to make the most of their location by overcharging for admission.
Written December 28, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

KC_travel_enthusiast
Kansas City, MO85 contributions
Aug 2011
This museum was not air conditioned and was very hot. It was difficult to stand and listen to the explanations of the artwork due to the stifling heat. The Norman Rockwell collection is nice but the Wyeth and Maxfield Parrish works were very limited. The museum is in a mansion but you only get to see the main floor and the basement store. It was disappointing they didn't say anything about the home given Newport is all about the mansions. My nieces and nephew teens were very bored. The worst part was you have to have advanced reservations to see the museum and it has very few times it is open. We planned around this 2:45 time slot so it really cut into the day. I love art and this commissioned art (illustration) and would love to see they open other floors and expand the collections - perhaps include advertising art from the period.
Written September 12, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
We thank you for your feedback. The NMAI does have A/C, although due to the size and age of the mansion does not work as well as modern systems. We currently have on display the ‘Norman Rockwell: American Imagist’ exhibition, highlighting this illustrator’s notable career, but still display many works by Parrish, Leyendecker, Wyeth, and other Golden Age Illustrators. The NMAI represents over 150 artists with over 2,000 paintings and 100,000 works on paper, limited edition books, prints, and memorabilia in our collection, although space only allows for a portion of that collection to be shown at a time. The artworks on display represent an overview of the collection and include illustrations for advertisements, books, magazines, calendars, movie posters, and more. The Gilded Age 19th Century Mansion, Vernon Court, which houses the NMAI’s collection serves as a frame for the artworks, and was addressed during the tour. The entire first floor and lower level are open to the public, with newly added galleries in this lower level to allow for sensitive works on paper to be displayed. The NMAI is open every Friday for a guided tour at 3pm year-round without reservations, and during the Summers on Saturdays and Sundays for General Admissions, without reservations. -Hayden Crocker
Written September 20, 2011
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

infoexchange
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg56 contributions
Aug 2016 • Solo
Great art, BUT...
I understand its 5 star rating because the art deserves it, and the setting is beautiful too. But museums aren't only about the quality of the works displayed, they're also about the experience. Just like a modest museum can be very enjoyable, so can one with great artworks in its walls be the opposite. I'm rating the experience.
There are maybe 4-5 rooms that can be visited on the ground floor (the basement collection was mostly minor and it had a moldy smell that wasn't any inviting either). Yet one of the rooms with many fantastic paintings is cordoned off and you can only peer at it from afar. Staircase, same thing. There has to be a way of doing this that doesn't transmit the "you're not allowed" feeling like it does here.
Layout of paintings very improveable, very difficult to look at some of them well.
There was one person as security staff who I maybe crossed 20 times in half hour. She was watching all the visitors, who were behaving wonderfully, as if they were ex-con art thieves on a field trip. These people are supposed to not interfere as long as people behave, to be "invisible", never intrusive.
I couldn't find any artwork by one of the artists named in the brochure as being in their collection. When I asked I was told the works on display change all the time. How about a little foot note explaining that?. Because seeing this artist's work was a major factor in my decision to visit.
I have seen a fantastic illustrators collection in another museum, the Delaware museum of art, which shows artwork by some of these artists as well -like Howard Pyle. In comparison their illustrators collection may not be as strong , yet the experience was so much more rewarding. That is a super friendly museum, unpretentious, didactic, wonderful (and they have a fantastic non-illustrators art collection as well). More reasonably priced too.
This place would be so much better with proper management and better artwork exhibition practices. I'm taking the time to review this thoroughly with a constructive intention (though for what I've read here they don't take criticism too well..). Because this place should be wonderful.
Written September 6, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

David W
Morrison, CO10 contributions
Apr 2013 • Couples
The National Museum of American Illustration is a must-see museum for anyone interested in American art and illustration. It's located in a beautiful old Newport mansion in the midst of the several mansions open for tour. The museum's collection is outstanding, with original art by Wyeth, Rockwell, Leyendecker, Parrish, Pyle, Gibson, and all the great American illustrators. I visited off-season, when the museum is only open on Fridays, but I think it is also open on weekends in the summer season. There is also a great gift shop.
Written April 17, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Josiefd
Longmeadow, Massachusetts2 contributions
May 2011
This was our first visit to the museum and we loved it. The main exhibit was Norman Rockwell. We are from MA near Stockbridge where Rockwell lived and have seen many of his works but knew nothing of his mentor J. C. Leyendecker. The history and comparison of both artists works was fascinating. We recommend the Friday 3 pm guided tour. Staff is very well informed and pleasant.
Written May 15, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

NicolaFardell
London, UK2 contributions
Aug 2010
Beautiful Location, Amazing artwork, Friendly atmosphere. I would highly recommend for a fantastic educational day out.
Written March 27, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

jkinny1
New York City, NY6 contributions
Jul 2010
Newport RI offers a wealth of sites and museums for American history and culture. No trip to Newport would be complete without a visit to the NMAI. The venue itself is extraordinary. Vernon Court is a spectacular gilded age mansion of the late 19th Century surrounded by grounds and (sunken) gardens modeled after a Frederick Law Olmsted design, complete with marble steps and original statuary.

The artwork consists of numerous famous/milestone works. These demonstrate that illustration is not only a fine art, but a uniquely American art form. There are works by the likes of N.C. Wyeth, Maxfield Parrish and Norman Rockwell. .
Written February 21, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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National Museum of American Illustration is open:
  • Fri - Fri 4:45 PM - 5:00 PM
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