Newport Art Museum

The Newport Art Museum & Art Association, one of the oldest continuously operating organizations of its kind in the country, turns 100 in 2012. A group of community-minded artists and intellectuals, led by activist and Pulitzer prize-winning author Maud Howe Elliott (1854-1948), founded the organization in June 1912 for the purposes of promoting and exhibiting fine arts and fostering art education within the community. Founding artist members were Elijah Baxter, Charles Biesel, John Elliott, William Sergeant Kendall, Albert Sterner, Helena and Louisa Sturtevant and Leslie P. Thompson.

Since our first year as the Art Association of Newport, we have sought to enhance community life as a shared place for the arts, ideas and culture. The Newport Art Museum continues to fill that role in the 21st century.

Barely a month after its creation, the Association staged its first exhibition, which included contributions from within the group and from prominent American artists such as Childe Hassam, J. Alden Weir, Frank W. Benson, Joseph DeCamp. John White Alexander, Mary Cassatt, George Bellows, Ernest Lawson and Arthur B. Davies. Among these artists were significant proponents of avant garde art movements espousing American impressionism (The Ten) and urban realism (The Eight). Through the patronage of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, who exhibited her own work here in 1915 and joined the Art Association’s Council in 1916, many important New York artists continued to exhibit regularly at the AAN.

Just one year later, in 1913, the Art Association of Newport began offering daily art lessons. John Elliott (Maud Howe Elliot’s husband) ran the first course, joined by Helena Sturtevant. Albert Sterner and Sergeant Kendall also taught. The following autumn Helena Sturtevant took charge, ultimately becoming the school’s longest ヨ serving director. She diligently and painstakingly developed a first-rate art school with a roster of exceptional teachers and a diverse curriculum. In the true spirit of art education, Sturtevant was interested in reaching out to diverse groups. In 1922 Sturtevant wrote: It is not without interest to observe among the pupils, the different nationalities represented, French, Swedish, Swiss, Greek, Portuguese, Armenian, several of them speaking almost no Englishナ From the wharfs of Newport, from a fisherman’s hut at Third Beach, from the farms of Portsmouth and Middletown, from the Army and Navy, from well known families of this place and New York, one common interest brings them here.ヤ

Place Categories: Art MuseumPlace Tags: paintings, Photography, printmaking and sculptures

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