newport art museum

The Newport Art Museum Welcomes Francine Weiss as their new Senior Curator

After engaging in a national search, the Newport Art Museum management selected Francine Weiss to fill the Senior Curator position previously held by Nancy Whipple Grinnell, who is leaving the museum to pursue other projects. Nancy led the museum’s curatorial department for 18 years during which time she curated 65 group exhibitions, 125 solo artist shows and advised the museum on the acquisition of 725 art objects to be accessioned into its permanent collection.

Dr. Weiss comes to the Newport Art Museum from the Fitchburg Art Museum in Fitchburg, MA, where she was most recently managed the collection of American and African art, photography, and contemporary art objects. Prior to her post in Fitchburg, she worked closely with American and international artists at the Photographic Resource Center at Boston University, where she conceptualized and curated several group thematic exhibitions of contemporary photography, wrote curatorial essays, led the Collectors’ Focus group, edited Loupe journal, and gave public and school tours, among other duties.

Additionally, Dr. Weiss was the Acting Assistant Curator at the National Gallery of Art’s Department of Photographs in Washington D.C. and a Graduate Research Assistant at the Fogg Museum of Art of the Harvard University Art Museums in Cambridge, MA, where she was also the Curatorial Fellow in American Art. Dr. Weiss was also a Curatorial Fellow at the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park in Lincoln, MA and a Graduate Intern at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA.

Dr. Weiss received her Ph.D. in the American Studies Program of Boston University, specializing in American art and photography. She graduated from Wellesley College magna cum laude, with a B.A. in English.

“I was impressed with Francine’s experience in guiding acquisitions and caring for collections along with her obvious passion for American art. Her impressive educational record and visionary curatorial sense coupled with her exciting ideas for new collaborations and inter-disciplinary arts programming impressed our entire search committee. Francine will be an important addition to our senior leadership,” remarked Norah Diedrich, the Newport Art Museum’s Executive Director.

Francine Weiss commented, “I look forward to joining the Newport Art Museum’s team of dedicated professionals and am excited to implement a new program of exhibitions and initiatives to activate the galleries, outdoor sculpture space, and exhibitions of objects from the impressive permanent collection. It is a privilege to play a role in the vibrant artistic community of Newport and to collaborate with the other esteemed cultural organizations in Newport, Providence, and the region, as well as work with the area’s talented artists.”

Francine, her husband, and young son will be moving to Newport, RI in early September and she will begin her tenure as Senior Curator later this month.

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.