Friday, April 27
Jane Pickens Theater
49 Touro Street, Washington Square
8:00 a.m. Registration & Coffee; Bookstore Open
9:00 a.m. Welcome
Fanchon “Monty” Burnham, Chairman of the Board, PSNC
9:15 a.m. Keynote Lecture: Acts to Follow: Three Centuries of Tastemakers and Collectors
Inge Reist, Director, Center for the History of Collecting, Frick Art Reference Library, New York
The Symposium Keynote Lecture has been permanently endowed by David W. Dangremond, Symposium Chairman Emeritus
Since the seventeenth century, specific personalities have influenced patterns of collecting. Some lead by example, some garner a reputation for intellectual prowess, while others most remarkably appear to anticipate what collectors will covet before they know it themselves. Among the personalities Dr. Reist will examine are Thomas Howard, the Earl of Arundel, John Ruskin, Bernard Berenson, and Leo Castelli.
10:15 a.m. Refreshment Break
10:45 a.m. Collecting the World: Hans Sloane and the Origins of the British Museum
Dr. James Delbourgo, Associate Professor, Rutgers University
In 1759, the British Museum opened its doors for the first time – as the first free national public museum in the world -- but how did it come into being? This lecture recounts the overlooked yet eventful life of the museum’s founder, Sir Hans Sloane, who amassed a fortune as a London society physician, became president of the Royal Society and Royal College of Physicians, and assembled an encyclopedic collection of specimens and objects, which became the foundation of the British Museum. Slavery and empire played foundational roles in his career: Sloane worked in Jamaica as a plantation doctor, made collections with help from planters and slaves, and married a Jamaican sugar heiress, adding to his wealth and his ability to collect. He then established a network of agents to supply him with objects of all kinds from Asia, the Americas and beyond. The little-known life of one of the Enlightenment’s most controversial luminaries provides a new story about the beginnings of public museums.
Noon Lunch at the Newport Colony House (included)
1:30 p.m. Treasures of the Mughuls and Maharajas: The Al Thani Jewelry Collection
Dr. Amin Jaffer, Chief Curator of The Al Thani Collection, Qatar
Formed in only eight years by His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al Thani, The Al Thani Collection of Indian gems and jewels is the most comprehensive holding of its type. Curator Amin Jaffer will speak about the Collection, its formation and the wider subject of royal Indian jewelry.
2:30 p.m. Refreshment Break
3:00 p.m. Art Market Mega Trends
Evan Beard, National Art Services Executive, U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management
Today’s art market operates under a unique set of economic rules and behavioral standards. We’ll take an unconventional look at the key drivers behind today’s global art market – from the shift in collector motivations to the new economic dynamics behind this great expansion.
4:30 p.m.-6 p.m. Open House: Samuel Whitehorne House - Optional
Trolleys will make a continuous loop from Washington Square to Whitehorne House
Enjoy a remarkable collection of Newport and Rhode Island furniture from the late 18th century in a Federal-style mansion along Newport’s waterfront
4:30 p.m.- 6 p.m. Hard Hat Tours: Opera House - Optional
Tour size limited, advance registration required
Take a hard hat tour of this historic theater renovation project in Washington Square.
7:00 p.m. New Attendee Dinner
First time Newport Symposium participants are invited to a special welcome dinner.
Saturday, April 28
Jane Pickens Theater
49 Touro Street
8:00 a.m. Registration & Coffee
9:00 a.m. Remarks
Trudy Coxe, CEO & Executive Director, PSNC
9:15 a.m. Auspicious Patronage in the Age of Enlightenment: George 3rd Earl Cowper and
His Place in Eighteenth-Century Florence
Deborah Gage, Managing Director, (Works of Art) Ltd.
Dr. Charles Ellis, Art Historian & Independent Scholar
George 3rd Earl Cowper was a significant patron who assembled one of the greatest private picture collections in 18th-century Florence, where he resided for 30 years; among his most celebrated acquisitions were Raphael's "Cowper Madonna" and "Small Cowper Madonna", now the National Gallery, Washington, D.C. Having visited Florence during his Grand Tour, Lord Cowper settled there in 1760 and only visited his native Britain once thereafter, but he was an important cultural link between Italy and the technologically more advanced England. During his residence at Florence he welcomed European savants and English Grand Tourists, and vigorously stimulated the intellectual, cultural and social life of grand-ducal Florence by commissioning paintings, financing the publication of literary, scientific and historical tracts, encouraging scientific experiments, supporting learned societies, and mounting concerts, operas and musical entertainments. Based on extensive research into unpublished primary documents, the speakers will present new information about Lord Cowper's manner of living and his underestimated contribution to the cultural life of Florence in the Enlightenment.
10:30 a.m. Refreshment Break
11:00 a.m. From Old Masters to Native Masters: The Thaw Collection at the
Fenimore Art Museum
Eva Fognell, Curator, Thaw Collection of Native American Indian Art, The Fenimore Art Museum
The Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of American Indian Art consists of more than 875 objects spanning twenty centuries from throughout North America, and is the most significant American Indian Art collection donated to the American public since the Depression. Stunningly, it was quickly formed over the course of just a few short years. At the core of the collection is the unwavering philosophy that in any culture a small percentage of things stand out as masterpieces by virtue of their superb craftsmanship, visual poser, historical associations, and cultural meanings. Gene Shaw puts it this way: “I want to stress that I regard Indian material culture as art”, and that to him, “it is co-equal to any of my own highest experiences in pursuing the arts of many nations...and stands rightfully with ancient art and masterpieces of Asia and Europe.”
12:15 p.m. Lunch at the Newport Colony House (included)
1:30 p.m. A Maze Without a Plan? Sir John Soane’s Display of Antiquities
Bruce Boucher, Executive Director, Sir John Soane’s Museum-London
Since its opening in 1837, Sir John Soane’s Museum has delighted and perplexed critics and the general public in equal measure. Soane referred to his display in his house museum as “studies for my own mind”, but he avoided specific discussion of his visual philosophy. While elements of his arrangement of objects find points of comparison with other collections of the period—now lost or only known through drawings and watercolors—there is much about the Soane Museum that is sui generis. This presentation will examine some influences on Soane’s approach to collecting and what could be called the migration of objects within his collection. Together, they shed light on Soane’s strategy of display.
2:30 p.m. Refreshment Break
3:00 p.m. Panel Discussion: Family Collections
Grappling with Legacy
Sylvia Brown, author
Sylvia Brown has delved into one of the country’s largest family archives to understand what fuels a multi-generational compulsion to giving: Self-interest? A feeling of guilt? A sense of genuine altruism? The Brown family of Rhode Island mirrors America’s evolving urge to do good — from colonial era charity, to reformist initiatives in the Early Republic, to the philanthropy of the Gilded Age, to social impact investing today.
Rough Point and the Gilded Age According to Doris
Margot Nishimura, Director of Museums, Newport Restoration Foundation
When Doris Duke gave her family’s Fifth Avenue home to New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts in 1957, she relocated most of its contents to Rough Point, her Newport mansion, which at the time had been sitting empty for several years. Having been primarily a collector of Islamic Art to that point, Duke then began to add to her parents’ fine and decorative arts collections in ways that suggest more than a passing interest in their value as Gilded Age furnishings, adding Van Dycks and a Reynolds to her father’s Gainsboroughs and Hoppners, 18th-century Italian and Dutch pieces to the Louis XV and XVI furniture, and Ming and earlier Chinese ceramics to the Chinese Export pots from the New York house. But what drove this new passion? Drawing on recent archival research, this talk explores the formation of the present day collection at Rough Point through the eyes of both a devoted daughter and a mature, later 20th-century collector with an idiosyncratic take on the tastes of her parents’ generation.
Jay Gould & His Daughters: The Forgotten Collectors of the Gilded Age
Howard Zar, Executive Director, Lyndhurst
Although Jay Gould was one of the important art collectors of the early Gilded Age, his social stigmatization during his life left him and his heirs largely forgotten after his death. This presentation re-establishes Goulds as important art collectors and major Tiffany patrons and highlights Lyndhurst as one of the few remaining venues to experience the taste of the early Gilded Age.
4:30 p.m. Open House: Roam Around Rough Point - Optional
Please note that this tour is self-drive.
Enjoy a self-guided exploration of the oceanside estate of Doris Duke.
7:00 p.m. Symposium Gala Dinner at The Breakers - Cocktail attire
Included with full registration; individual tickets available. Trolleys depart Hotel Viking at 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 29
Jane Pickens Theater
49 Touro Street, Washington Square
9:30 a.m. Bloody Mary Closing Reception (included); Bookstore OPen
10:30 a.m. Closing Remarks
George H. McNeely IV, Chairman
The Newport Symposium Committee
Barnes the Collector
Post-Screening Remarks by Nina Diefenbach, Senior Vice President, Deputy Director for Advancement, Barnes Foundation
Narrated by John Lithgow, this documentary film explores the reasons behind Barnes's "experiment in education," his progressive beliefs as an industrialist and educator, and the radical introduction of modern art to his American audience. Discover the many ways in which the personality of Dr. Barnes continues to shape the mission and philosophy of the Barnes Foundation, and encounter a collection like no other. Barnes the Collector is directed by Jeff Folmsbee and produced by Gaby Monet and Jeff Folmsbee.
Noon Symposium concludes
Afternoon Self-Directed Tours – Optional
Open for visitation. Please show your Symposium badge upon arrival for complimentary admission.
The Breakers, 44 Ochre Point Avenue
Marble House, 596 Bellevue Avenue
Rosecliff, 548 Bellevue Avenue
The Elms, 367 Bellevue Avenue
Touro Synagogue, 72 Touro Street