The Newport Symposium
Presented by The Preservation Society of Newport County
U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management
ALEX AND ANI
Franklin and Company
The Gilded Age arose from the effort to reconcile modern industrial technology with the artistic vocabulary of the past – both real and imaginary. Many of Newport’s summer colonists made their fortunes in industry, and were instrumental in promoting the widespread adoption of advances like steam engines, electric lighting, central heating, refrigeration and automobiles. But jubilation at modern progress was tinged with nostalgia for pre-industrial styles and craftsmanship, giving rise to a host of inventive, eclectic expressions in material culture. From the romantic Medievalism of Ruskin, Henry Adams and William Morris to the bold new iconography of the Statue of Liberty and the Newport mansions, this symposium will explore the range of ways in which Gilded Age patrons and designers forged a new American identity, celebrating innovation while remaining firmly rooted in tradition.