Laurie Ossman

Director of Museum Affairs

Laurie Ossman, Ph.D. joined The Preservation Society of Newport County in 2013 as Director of Museum Affairs, after working as Research Historian for the Smithsonian Institution's "History of America in 101 Objects."  She previously served as Director of Woodlawn and Frank Lloyd Wright's Pope-Leighey House, historic sites of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Alexandria, VA.  She has also held curatorial positions at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens and the Henry Flagler Museum in Florida, and the Maryland Historical Society.

Dr. Ossman graduated with honors from Brown University, then earned her Master's degree in Architectural History from the School of Architecture at the University of Virginia, followed by her Ph.D from the Graduate School of Arts& Sciences, also from UVA.  She has been an instructor in the history of American architecture and urban planning at UVA, and has lectured and written extensively on architectural history, design and preservation.  She is also the author of several books including Carrere and Hastings: The Masterworks, with HeatherEwing (NY: Rizzoli USA), and Great Houses of the South (NY: Rizzoli USA).

The Director of Museum Affairs provides vision and leadership on curatorial, conservation, research and educational initiatives at the Preservation Society’s 11 historic houses, seven of them National Historic Landmarks, which range in date from the mid-18th to the early 20th centuries.  With a collection of 55,000 objects comprised of fine and decorative arts, photographs, prints and drawings displayed within landmark period houses, the Preservation Society attracts more than 800,000 visitors annually, making it one of the largest cultural organizations in New England.