The 26th  annual Newport Symposium, Great Collectors: Taste, Passion & Patronage, will be held Thursday, April 26 to Sunday, April 29, 2018, debuting a new weekend schedule, new venue and, for the first time, a one-day registration option.  The Newport Symposium, presented by The Preservation Society of Newport County, is New England’s preeminent convening of national and international experts in the fine and decorative arts.

Throughout the centuries and around the world, collectors have passionately pursued objects of fascination and beauty reflecting an intriguing combination of personal interests and aesthetics, validation, and outside influences.  The Symposium will provide a stimulating weekend of lectures, social events, and camaraderie as esteemed national and international presenters explore the underpinnings of collecting, and bring the fascinating stories of collectors to life.

The Newport Symposium will open on Thursday, April 26 and continue through the weekend. Presentations will take place at the Jane Pickens Theater, featuring some of the world’s leading scholars and lecturers, who will share their expertise on the subject of collectors and collections through the centuries.

Lecturers will include:

  • Inge Reist, Director, The Center for the History of Collecting, The Frick Collection & Frick Art Reference Library – New York  (Keynote Speaker)
  • Bruce Boucher, Ph.D, Director, Sir John Soane’s Museum – London
  • Dr. Amin Jaffer, Senior Curator, The Al Thani Collection – Qatar
  • Eva Fognell, Curator, Thaw Collection of American Indian Art, Fenimore Art Museum – Copperstown, NY
  • Evan Beard, National Art Services Executive, U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management – New York
  • Sylvia Brown, author & philanthropist
  • Dr. James Delbourgo, Professor of History, Rutgers University – New Jersey
  • Nina Diefenbach, Senior Vice President, Deputy Director for Advancement, The Barnes Foundation – Philadelphia
  • Dr. Charles Ellis, art historian – Florence, Italy
  • Deborah Gage, art historian & art dealer – London
  • Dr. Margot McIlwain Nishimura, Director of Museums, Newport Restoration Foundation – Newport
  • Howard Zar, Executive Director, Lyndhurst – Tarrytown, New York

Full registration for the Newport Symposium includes all lectures and presentations, Thursday guided tours, lunch on Friday and Saturday, opening reception, private dinner at The Breakers on Saturday evening and Sundaymorning reception. Participants also receive complimentary admission throughout the weekend to the Preservation Society’s houses and the special exhibition Bohemian Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement and Oscar Wilde’s Newport at The Galleries at Rosecliff.

Full Early Bird Registration through March 16 is $500 for Preservation Society members, $550 for the general public; after March 16, Preservation Society members $550, general public $600.

For the first time this year, one-day registrations are also available for Friday and Saturday.

Single day registration is $225 through March 16, $250 after.  Academic rates and scholarships are also available.

For additional information and to register for the 2018 Newport Symposium, visit, or call (401) 847-1756.

The Newport Symposium is presented with the support of ALEX AND ANI; Newport Historical Society; U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management; and Christie’s.

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.