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Tours, Groups, Exclusive Experiences
Explore our various tour types to find what’s best for you and your group.
History of Newport and the Mansions
Founded in 1639, Newport was an important port city, a center of the slave trade, a fashionable resort and the summer home of the Gilded Age rich.
What was the Gilded Age?
The Gilded Age was a period of unprecedented change in America. Fortunes were spent on luxuries such as the lavish "summer cottages" of Newport.
Deep Dive into the Show
Learn about the people, places and events depicted in Julian Fellowes' popular historical drama series.
Current members can see a full list of benefits and any information regarding Members Events.
Become a Member
We invite you to become a member of the Preservation Society today. In addition to joining an active community of preservation supporters and advocates, members are offered unlimited access to all open houses.
Our mission is to protect, preserve, and present the best of Newport County's architectural heritage. Learn more about us and our work.
Wind Farm Federal Appeal: FAQs
The Preservation Society of Newport County is appealing federal agency approval of two massive wind farms off the Rhode Island coast.
Personal Photography on the Grounds
Rent our museums for commercial photography & videography, TV production, and wedding photography.
Commercial Filming or Photography
Museum Rentals & Weddings
Host your wedding, rehearsal dinner, corporate event, or other celebration at our historic museums.
The Preservation Society of Newport County is one of the richest resources in the nation for the fine and decorative arts of the Gilded Age. Visiting Curator Ulysses Grant Dietz went “treasure hunting” in the historic properties of the Preservation Society, and he found 100 objects that he had seen many times — but had never really looked at. He realized that sometimes, inside these beautiful mansions, it’s hard to see the individual pieces because of all the other things around them.
This exhibition lets you look closely at objects ranging in date from the late 1400s to the early 1900s, all of which were collected during the Gilded Age. These beautiful things — furniture, metalwork, ceramics, glass, painting, sculpture, prints, and photographs — come from all over the world, and represent many different styles and tastes. They also represent the skills of exceptional craftspeople — including many anonymous workers who couldn’t afford to own the things they made.
As you explore Anything You Want, take a closer look at these works of art and think about why someone in the Gilded Age might have wanted to own them.
Les Trois Amis (The Three Friends)
(Portrait of Harold Stirling Vanderbilt)
Charles Chaplin (1825-1891), 1887; Frame made by Jules Allard and Sons (active 1878-1907), Paris
Oil on canvas, carved and gilded oak
Bequest of Harold S. Vanderbilt. PSNC.429.
Louis XV Chest of Drawers (Commode)
Attributed to Jean-François Oeben (1721-1763), Paris, 1740-1760
Wood with marquetry veneers, marble, gilded bronze (ormolu)
Bequest of Harold S. Vanderbilt. PSNC.413.a-b.
Unidentified maker, Boston, 1730-1740
Mahogany, maple, leather
Purchased by The Preservation Society of Newport County. PSNC.1787a-b.
Meissen Porcelain Manufactory (active 1710-present), Dresden, Germany, late 1800s
Hard-paste porcelain, enamel
Bequest of Mrs. Aletta Morris McBean. PSNC.9048.
Vase Decorated with Chrysanthemums (One of a Pair)
Hansuke Kawamoto V (1831-1907) or VI (1844-1905) for Hyochien (1873-1909), Tokyo, Japan, 1879
Gift of the Estate of Mrs. Gwendolen E. Rives. PSNC.5098.1.
“Four Elements” Centerpiece
John C. Moore (1803-1874), New York, 1851
Retailed by Tiffany, Young & Ellis (active 1837-1853), New York
Sterling silver, silver-plated brass
Gift of Norrie Wetmore Sellar. PSNC.9804.
Mantel Clock and Candelabra
Attributed to Raingo Frères (active 1823-1890), Paris, 1875-1890
Retailed by Tiffany & Co. (active 1837-present), New York
Marble, gilded bronze (ormolu), metal, glass, enamel
Gift of Countess Anthony Szapáry. PSNC.2960.1-.3a-e.
Parlor Cabinet in the Colonial Style
Unidentified maker, England, 1870s
Rosewood, tulipwood, satinwood, glass, metal
Gift of Mrs. Gwendolen E. Rives. PSNC.6136.
Dining Chair (from a Set of 25)
Jules Allard and Sons (1878-1907), Paris, c. 1890
Cast bronze, gilded bronze (ormolu), cut velvet
Gift of Mr. Frederick H. Prince. PSNC.430.1-.25.
Closed Armchair (Bergère)
Designed by Ogden Codman, Jr. (1863-1951), for A. H. Davenport & Co. (1880-1974), Boston, c. 1895
Painted wood, reproduction chintz
Gift of Gladys T. Peterson and Countess Anthony Szapáry. PSNC.2905.11.
Explore the underground systems that made this great house a marvel of technology for its time.
See and hear how the other half lived. This tour will highlight the stories of some of the men and women who worked to service the social whirl of Newport during the Gilded Age.
Explore China’s deep influence on Newport from the 18th century through the Gilded Age. This exhibition brings together more than 100 extraordinary objects and illuminates how many different people of Chinese heritage, including artists, merchants, immigrant entrepreneurs and women suffragists, shaped all aspects of life in Newport.
This outdoor spectacle of holiday lights will dazzle and delight you! The 13-acre landscape of The Breakers turns into a wonderland of color and light. Includes tour of the lavish decorated rooms inside the house. Open on select evenings through the season. Includes The Breakers interior tour during the same visit.
A great Newport tradition! See The Breakers, Marble House and The Elms dressed in their festive holiday finery. It’s the most spectacular time of the year at these awe-inspiring Gilded Age mansions.
Our annual black-tie holiday event is sold out. The waitlist is at capacity and has been closed. Happy Holidays to all!
Preservation Society members, this evening is for you! Enjoy music, food, drinks and conversation amid the holiday décor in The Elms.
After a one-year sojourn to Marble House, New England’s premier flower show returns to Rosecliff with the theme of “At Home.”
Save the dates for the 19th annual festival, featuring the Vintner Dinner, Sunday Brunch and tasty yet educational seminar experiences.
Parking is free onsite at all properties except for Hunter House and The Breakers Stable & Carriage House, where street parking is available.
Answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.
Explore the 11 properties under the stewardship of the Preservation Society and open as historic house museums.
Partners in Preservation