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Whitehorne House Museum

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416 Thames Street

Museum Features

Museum Type
House museum showing period furniture in traditional setting

The Whitehorne House Museum is a museum of Newport furniture that celebrates the craftsman (and woman)- ship, artistry, and industry of 18th-century Newport furniture and related decorative arts. It was built for Samuel Whitehorne Jr. in 1811 and the exterior feature elegant brick constructionm a hipped roof, decorative entry portico, and a formal garden, which are typical of the Federal style. It is notable as one of the rare houses to be built in Newport in the Federal Style as the period after the Revolutionary War was a period of slow economic recovery for the city. Interior highlights include a grand central hallway, hand carved details, and a significant collection of early American furniture.

The collection at Whitehorne House Museum comprises furniture and related decorative arts made or used in Newport and elsewhere in Rhode Island in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Included are pieces by the renowned Townsend and Goddard families, other well known artisans, such as Benjamin Baker and Samuel Vernon, and many unnamed, equally skilled craftsmen. Newport cabinetmakers made some of the most highly regarded furniture in the British colonies of North America, with richly grained mahogany, distinctly formed ball-and-claw feet, and characteristically “Newport” block-and-shell carving.

Much of their collection is available for online viewing.

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