The Preservation Society of Newport County hosted Muse groups from Rogers High, Portsmouth High and the East Bay Met schools at Rosecliff Mansion as the house reopened for the spring season of tours.  The house has been closed over the winter months while a new project was undertaken – converting the second floor from a house museum to a rotating exhibition space.

The Preservation Society’s Mansions, one of Newport’s most popular tourist attractions, are interpreted with as much fidelity as possible as the wealthy New York society summer cottages they were built to be. As such, rooms focus on the ways those families filled them.

Collections Manager Liz Warburton described this new phase to the students as she led them through the two floors of the house. It is a departure that affords curators at the Preservation Society to envision rotating exhibitions that provide context for architecture and interior design seen throughout the mansions and complement programming of the Society’s annual Newport Symposium.

Students were able to learn exactly what a collections manager does, the differences between a gallery space and house museum, how different career paths and interests can be connected to museum studies, about the house and collection and the event rentals that frequently occur at Rosecliff. Upstairs, the students walked through the renovations underway and asked questions. The group brainstormed ideas for future exhibitions in the space, which we hope might one day come to pass.