Redwood Library & Athenaeum
50 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI 02840 - United States
FIRST LIBRARY BUILDING IN AMERICA—NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
PORTRAIT & EXHIBITION GALLERIES—A TRUE COLONIAL EXPERIENCE
The Company of the Redwood Library was established in 1747 by Abraham Redwood and 45 colonists with the goal of making written knowledge more widely available to the Newport community. It is a hybrid museum, rare book repository, and America’s oldest continuously operating lending library still in its original structure. Designed by Peter Harrison, the Redwood is the nation’s oldest Neoclassical public building and is a registered National Historic Landmark.
The Redwood contains over 200,000 titles in its Circulating and Special Collections, with another 751 titles forming the Original Collection, purchased by the founders in 1750 and housed in the historic Harrison Room. Throughout the library on permanent view is an exceptional collection of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century portraits by Gilbert Stuart, Robert Feke and John Smibert, as well as sculpture, furniture, and decorative arts. Two fine gallery spaces feature rotating exhibitions, while the Reading Room, with its iconic green leather chairs and original Palladian windows, is a welcome sanctuary for visitors.
• Lectures, author visits and concerts
• Literary-themed Gift Shop
• Used Book Store
Spectacular Silver: Yachting's Goelet Cups
10.30 a.m. Tour of the Library and Athenaeum
Participation in Museum Day is open to any tax-exempt or governmental museum or cultural venue on a voluntary basis. Smithsonian magazine encourages museum visitation, but is not responsible for and does not endorse the content of the participating museums and cultural venues, and does not subsidize museums that participate.