Rosecliff Mansion

The 25th  annual Newport Symposium, Gilded Age Art, Design & Technology,, will be held Sunday, April 23 to Wednesday, April 26, 2017, in the historic houses and buildings of Newport, Rhode Island., according to a press release issued today by the Preservation Society of Newport County.

Presented by The Preservation Society of Newport County, with support from U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management, Franklin & Company and Christie’s, the Newport Symposium is an international forum for the study and discussion of a diverse range of arts and historical issues.  Enthusiasts in the fields of history, fine and decorative arts and design are invited to join museum professionals, collectors and scholars to hear lectures by renowned experts from around the country.

The Gilded Age arose from the effort to reconcile modern industrial technology with the artistic vocabulary of the past – both real and imaginary. Many of Newport’s summer colonists made their fortunes in industry, and were instrumental in promoting the widespread adoption of advances like steam engines, electric lighting, central heating, refrigeration and automobiles. But jubilation at modern progress was tinged with nostalgia for pre-industrial styles and craftsmanship, giving rise to a host of inventive, eclectic expressions in material culture. From the romantic Medievalism of Ruskin, Henry Adams and William Morris to the bold new iconography of the Statue of Liberty and the Newport mansions, this symposium will explore the range of ways in which Gilded Age patrons and designers forged a new American identity, celebrating innovation while remaining firmly rooted in tradition.

Lecturers will include:

  • Kelly Conway, Curator of American Glass, Corning Museum of Glass
  • David de Muzio, Executive Director, Audrain Automobile Museum & Collection
  • Ulysses Grant Dietz, Chief Curator and Curator of Decorative Arts, Newark Museum
  • Ted Eayrs, Partner, Blackburn Building Conservation LLC
  • John Stuart Gordon, Benjamin Attmore Hewitt Associate Curator of American Decorative Arts, Yale University Art Gallery
  • Stephen Harrison, Curator of Decorative Art & Design, The Cleveland Museum of Art
  • Jill Jonnes, Historian & Author
  • Paul Miller, Curator, The Preservation Society of Newport County
  • Libby O’Connell, Historian & Author, Chief Historian Emeritus, The History Channel
  • Richard W. Rydell, Professor of History and Director of Humanities Institute, Montana State University
  • Richard Guy Wilson, Commonwealth Professor of Architectural History, University of Virginia
  • Karen Zukowski, Art Historian & Author

Lectures, tours, receptions, and dinners will take place in various historic buildings in Newport, as well as the Hotel Viking.  Admission is $550 for Preservation Society members, $600 for non-members, which includes a one-year individual membership in the Preservation Society. Academic rates and student scholarships are available.  For additional information and to register, please email,  call (401) 847-1000 ext. 154, or visit

The Preservation Society of Newport County, Rhode Island is a non-profit organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and dedicated to preserving and interpreting the area’s historic architecture, landscapes and decorative arts.  Its 11 historic properties—seven of them National Historic Landmarks—span more than 250 years of American architectural and social development.

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.