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“A Must-See Museum in Newport”

National Museum of American Illustration
Ranked #12 of 117 things to do in Newport
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: 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.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“A Must-See Museum in Newport”
Reviewed April 17, 2013

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.

Visited April 2013
4 Thank David W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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314 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Holden, Massachusetts
Level 6 Contributor
247 reviews
78 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
“Large, lovely collection in a beautiful setting”
Reviewed March 30, 2013

This is a terrific museum with an art form that many would dismiss but is striking and entertaining. There is a large collection of colorful and stunning works by great artists such as Maxfield Parrish, Norman Rockwell, N.C. Wyeth, Howard Pyle, JC Leyendecker (whose name I did not know but whose art was very familiar), Charles Gibson and others. Maxfield Parrish's work is currently being featured so there is a lot of his fabulous, colorful work on exhibit, including the very large Venetian murals. The setting for the art is in the beautiful gilded age rooms of a Newport mansion which has a lovely Tiffany Company ceiling and wall mural in the one of the loggia.

The exhibits are on the main floor and lower level of the mansion. My only complaint is that the signage for the lower level art is somewhat difficult to read as it is below the art work and the picture frames block the name of the artists. There is a small staff who all appear to be very knowledgeable about the artwork and the museum. It is a self guided tour with good details on the signs and they offer a guided tour once a day. Because it is an old mansion there are stairs to the lower level (including the gift store and bathrooms) and steps up and down from the main rooms to the loggia so visiting could be a problem for mobility impaired folks. However, the best of the collection is on the main floor. Spend the 10 minutes watching the video about the museum and the illustration art form. It is apparently very popular with Hollywood folks!

We visited in March so nothing was in bloom but the grounds must be lovely in the warm weather. The museum is also working on re-doing a Frederick Law Olmstead park across from the museum. Free parking is on Victoria Street. A great place to visit.

Visited March 2013
3 Thank HoldenKathy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bedford Hills, New York
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Made in America”
Reviewed January 31, 2013

The art is perfectly set in the rooms of Vernon Court, one of the grand Newport Mansions. I have visited several times and enjoy the changing exhibits. The options for a guided tour or a self-tour are available. The first option offers an hour presentation from the knowledgeable and informative staff and the second permits time to study each painting.

Do not miss Rockwell's April Fool: Girl with Shopkeeper!

Visited January 2013
1 Thank Love-to-Travel-5555
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“A wonderful Museum of American Illustration”
Reviewed January 6, 2013

There can be no better Museum in the U.S than this Museum if you like American illustrators such as Parrish, Wyeth, Rockwell and Pyle, to name a few. The Museum is in a Newport mansion and is wonderfully presented within the distinctive rooms. The guided tour of one hour was most informative. This is an experience that should not be missed!

Visited January 2013
Thank pickleheadCranston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yonkers, New York
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2012

Love this museum! The Rockwell works alone were spectacular!! I have to go back next time I'm in Newport! Well worth the trip! Check the hours, though, as it's only open limited time.

Visited July 2012
Thank OperaLaura
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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