Apr
1
2014

What's Under the Microscope Today?

What's Under the Microscope Today?One of the most powerful tools we have for learning about the nature of materials and their history is the microscope. The Preservation Society of Newport County is fortunate to have a pretty good one: a Leica DMLM trinocular microscope equipped with darkfield objectives, and having the capability for viewing samples in transmitted visible light or reflected visible or ultraviolet light. [More]
Mar
4
2014

Meticulous Methodology: Collections Database and Inventory

Meticulous Methodology: Collections Database and InventoryImagine living in a mansion filled with Tiffany glass, paintings by Giovanni Boldini, and lavish gowns made by Charles Frederick Worth. Next, imagine owning multiple properties on Bellevue Avenue furnished in the same grand fashion. If you're currently thinking, "how could I even keep track of it all?", then welcome to the challenge The Preservation Society of Newport County's collections staff faces daily while managing objects throughout eleven properties as well as several storage facilities. [More]
Dec
18
2013

From the Collections: Change of Identity at Marble House

From the Collections: Change of Identity at Marble HouseIn the early 1890s, Mr. and Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt acquired four French royal portraits in London and Paris to decorate their Versailles-inspired dining room at Marble House. The series included one of Louis XIV by Henri Testelin, originally purchased by the Vanderbilts as a work by Pierre Mignard, and a portrait of Louis XIV’s great-grandson Louis XV by Jean Baptiste Van Loo. The final two portraits were said by Alva Vanderbilt Belmont to represent the Duke and Duchess d’Orléans; the Duke was thought to have been painted by Hyacinthe Rigaud and the Duchess by Nicholas de Largillière. As we discovered, she was incorrect. [More]
Nov
13
2013

Katherine Warren: A Glimpse into the Life and Career of one of Newport’s Leading Preservation Advocates

Katherine Warren: A Glimpse into the Life and Career of one of Newport’s Leading Preservation AdvocatesWhile Katherine Warren’s role in the formation of the Preservation Society is her greatest legacy, her contributions to Newport extend beyond the organization. Katherine had a grand vision for the City’s future and worked to help the community achieve it by investing in historic preservation and the arts. [More]
Oct
11
2013

Conservation Report: Dining Room Chairs at Marble House

Conservation Report: Dining Room Chairs at Marble HouseIf you have spent any time in the opulent Vanderbilt summer cottage Marble House (1892), it will come as no surprise that the cost of the house was estimated by contemporary press to be in the neighborhood of 11 million dollars (some 286 million dollars today). More than half of the estimated construction cost was spent on marble, but some of the other interior appointments were equally extravagant. [More]
Sep
25
2013

Tracing the “Line of Beauty” through Hunter House

Tracing the “Line of Beauty” through Hunter HouseCaryne Eskridge is the 2013-14 Curatorial Fellow for The Preservation Society of Newport County. She earned a B.A. in History from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, and her M.A. from the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture in May 2013. Caryne began a one year fellowship in June 2013, focused on the architecture and collection of Hunter House (1748). [More]
Aug
29
2013

From Newport to Nottinghamshire: The 2013 Attingham Summer School

From Newport to Nottinghamshire: The 2013 Attingham Summer SchoolFounded in 1952, The Attingham Summer School is dedicated to the study of the British country house. Over the course of 18 days, participants examine the social and architectural history of buildings, their rich collections, remarkable interiors, and discuss problems related to their conservation and presentation. Caitlin Emery, Research and Interpretation Coordinator for The Preservation Society of Newport County was the recipient of a Royal Oak Foundation Scholarship, and spent three weeks in July travelling through Sussex, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Kent with the program. [More]
Mar
28
2013

Beautiful: The Art of Woodwork

Beautiful: The Art of WoodworkNewport’s houses read like a history book on woodworking, from the 18th century paneling of Hunter House (c. 1748) to the elaborate French bookcases of Marble House (1892). During the colonial era, Newport’s craftsmen, such as the Townsend and Goddard families, produced fine furniture made of rich mahogany imported from Santo Domingo, while the great hall and reception rooms of Chateau-sur-Mer (1852) exhibit the Victorian era’s taste for intricately carved woodwork in white oak and Circassian walnut. [More]
Feb
20
2013

Beautiful: New Things in Newport

Beautiful: New Things in NewportNewport is a historic place, full of venerable traditions, but it is also a place where progressive things happened .During the 1870s and 1880s, a period in the arts known as the “Aesthetic Movement,” the boom in cottage construction in Newport provided the opportunity for all that was new and innovative [More]
Jan
11
2013

Beautiful? The Seduction of Newport.

Beautiful?  The Seduction of Newport. What draws you to something? Beauty? Indeed. It’s interesting? Usually. It’s intriguing? Surely. It’s cool? Of course. Does this all add up to seduction? Possibly and most probably. And so we enter the realm of Newport and its reputation for beauty, magnificence, pleasure, and all sorts of interesting things. Does Newport seduce? Let’s think about it. [More]