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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.