Newport Antiques Show Loan Exhibition to Explore Significant Rhode Island Objects

  • NEWPORT, Rhode Island
  • /
  • July 24, 2014

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Thomas Howland, oil on canvas by John Blanchard c.1855.
Rhode Island Historical Society, 1895.6.1

The Rhode Island Historical Society and the Newport Historical Society
will partner to present The Newport Antiques Show’s 2014 Loan Exhibit, "Fifty Objects That Shaped Rhode Island History."

“Rhode Island, founded by an immigrant in 1636, has a rich, complicated history,” explains Kirsten Hammerstrom, Director of Collections at the Rhode Island Historical Society. “Its coastline encouraged a robust maritime trade and the entrepreneurial spirit of its people made it a vanguard in the industrial revolution.”

“Rhode Island has served as a haven for the religiously persecuted and an incubator for innovators and rabble-rousers, who were sometimes one and the same. Not immune to the uglier parts of history, Rhode Island has seen its share of inequalities and injustices, as its inhabitants ride the tide of shifting demographics and changing economies,” Hammerstrom describes.

The Rhode Island Historical Society and the Newport Historical Society—sister organizations with a common origin in 1822— have joined forces to create an exhibit that encompasses Little Rhody’s complex history with fifty distinct objects
from their extensive collections. It will be presented at the 2014 Newport Antiques Show in the loan exhibit "Fifty Objects That Shaped Rhode Island History," July 25, 2014-July 27, 2104 at St. George’s School in Middletown, RI. The exhibit includes diverse themes such as geography and tolerance. 

During the Newport Antiques Show’s three day run, over forty-two of the country’s top dealers will present a diverse selection of Americana antiques ranging from furniture, paintings, jewelry and many other decorative arts at St. George’s School in Middletown, RI. Admission to the weekend Show, which costs $15 per person or $20 for a three day pass, allows entrance to Fifty Objects and the following talks. 

 -Big History, Little State: 350 Years in 50 Objects presented by Kirsten Hammerstrom on Friday, July 25th at 11am.
 - Fruits of Our Labor: Industry, Immigration and Rhode Island Road to Riches by C. Morgan Grefe on Friday July 26th at 1pm.
 - Vintage Cars and Automobile Racing in Newport on July 26th at 11am by Nicholas Schorsch, CEO of the Show’s Presenting Sponsor American Realty Capital.

“For a small state, Rhode Island has a powerful reach that can be seen in the material evidence of its past,” Hammerstrom concludes.

To learn more about the Newport Antiques Show visit:; to preview highlights of Fifty Objects follow the facebok pages of the Rhode Island Historical Society ( and the
Newport Historical Society (

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