The Art Association of Newport, now the Newport Art Museum, was founded in 1912 to benefit the cultural life of the community. In its early days, women were in charge of serving the tea, but they also were the driving force behind the establishment and operation of this now-thriving institution that celebrates one hundred years in 2012. While Gilded Age women flocked to art schools and, by the turn of the century, represented one-third of those aspiring to professional careers as artists, fewer pulled the strings behind the scenes of arts organizations. Carrying the torch in Newport was Maud Howe Elliott (1854-1948), whose belief that art was a civilizing influence informed her lifelong crusade to “cultivate and promote artistic endeavor and interest in the arts.” While the reputation of early twentieth century Newporters is most often associated with an exclusive summer colony, opulent mansions, and a society of excess, this small group of citizens banded together to form an organization with a decidedly democratic vision.
Grinnell, Nancy Whipple
"Remembering the Ladies: Women and the Art Association of Newport,"
Newport History: Vol. 80
, Article 3.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.salve.edu/newporthistory/vol80/iss265/3