PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND - JULY 24: Interior of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) library on July 24, 2015 in Providence, Rhode Island; Shutterstock ID 305897873; Your name (First / Last): Lauren Keith; GL account no.: 65050; Netsuite department name: Content Asset; Full Product or Project name including edition: Guides Project Eastern USA

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Rhode Island School of Design


Perhaps the top art school in the USA, RISD's imprint on Providence is easily felt, with students' creativity extending across the cityscape. Open to the public, the extraordinary collections of the school's Museum of Art include 19th-century French paintings; classical Greek, Roman and Etruscan art; medieval and Renaissance works; and examples of 19th- and 20th-century American painting, furniture and decorative arts.

Kids love staring at the Egyptian mummy, while grown-ups might be impressed to see the works of Manet, Matisse and Sargent. The museum stays open until 9pm on the third Thursday of the month, when admission is free after 5pm. It's also free the last Saturday of the month and on Sundays from 10am to 1pm.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Providence attractions

1. RISD Museum of Art

0.02 MILES

Wonderfully eclectic, the Rhode Island School of Design's art museum showcases everything from ancient Greek art to 20th-century American paintings and…

2. Providence Athenaeum

0.06 MILES

One of the most prominent buildings on Benefit St, the Greek Revival Providence Athenaeum was designed by William Strickland and completed in 1838. This…

3. Stephen Hopkins House

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On Providence's Benefit St, the 1708 Stephen Hopkins House, named for the 10-time governor and Declaration of Independence signer, was rescued in the…

4. Benefit Street


Immediately east of Providence's downtown, you'll find College Hill, where you can see the city's Colonial history reflected in the 18th-century houses…

5. Brown University

0.16 MILES

Dominating the crest of the College Hill neighborhood on the East Side, Brown University's campus exudes Ivy League charm. University Hall, a 1770 brick…

6. Industrial National Bank Building

0.24 MILES

Providence's landmark art-deco skyscraper has had many monikers over the years, from the Industrial Trust Building to the Bank of America Building and…

7. Prospect Terrace Park

0.26 MILES

A great spot from which to get an overview of Providence is this elevated, compact green space known as Prospect Terrace Park. In warm weather, you’ll…

8. Providence City Hall

0.28 MILES

Providence's working beaux-arts City Hall makes an imposing centerpiece to Kennedy Plaza. Visitors are free to enter the building and wander its hallways,…