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Best Museums in Providence

By: Cityseeker
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Museum of Art Rhode Island School of Design

The Rhode Island School of Design is one of the country's leading art schools and it has a museum to match this lauded reputation. Located on colonial Benefit Street, RISD's museum traces the history of art from antiquity to the present day through more than 85,000 works of art from all over the world. There are also collections showing Providence's history as a manufacturing center for silver, but the main galleries are categorized as follows: The Grand Gallery, Early Renaissance & Medieval, Ancient Greek & Roman, Contemporary & Modern and Decorative Arts & Design.

Providence, RI, United States
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John Brown House Museum

This commanding three-floor mansion sits along the aptly named Power Street in historic College Hill. The house was built in 1786 for the premier Providence merchant of his day and early trustee of the nearby university, John Brown. Now, under the purview of the Rhode Island Historical Society, this mansion preserves original furnishings and decorations from the 18th Century, which includes a nine-shell desk and bookcase as a couple of great examples. As with many historical attractions in Providence, this one offers a glimpse into the life of Colonial America after the Revolutionary War.

Providence, RI, United States
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Governor Henry Lippitt House Museum

This very handsome and elegant Renaissance Revival mansion is the former home of one of Rhode Island's most influential politicians, Henry Lippitt. It's massive, with 30 rooms spread over three-floors, the mansion displays American Victorian opulence at its best. All of the rooms are finished in filigreed woodwork and the light through the stained-glass windows is amazing during Autumn. Since its construction in 1865, the mansion harbored generations of Lippitt's descendants until they finally donated it to Preserve Rhode Island in 1981. The society hosts tours (on Friday only during Summer) and it also rents the estate along with the first-floor museum for events.

Providence, RI, United States
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Museum of Natural History & Planetarium

This museum is located in impeccably landscaped Roger Williams Park, named after the state's founder. The museum opened in 1896 and over the last century it has collected more than 250,000 artifacts from across North America and beyond. Most of the objects are not on display, however there is plenty of taxidermy. As far as the planetarium is concerned, it features a state-of-the-art Zeiss projector with a full-dome and it has several shows daily. Some of the programs include, Our Place in Space, Journey to the Stars, Sky Views and Great Space Adventure in addition to many others. The museum hosts events throughout the year aimed towards kids like adventure tours in the vault, fossil find activities, workshops and much, much more.

Providence, RI, United States
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Cape Verdean Museum

This museum tells the fascinating story of Cape Verdean Americans and their culture. Cape Verde was a Portuguese colony, located off the coast of West Africa, that gained independence in 1975. Men and women from there migrated to New England in the 1800s and onward, working on whaling ships and Cape Cod's cranberry bogs. They brought with them a unique culture. part African, part European and have continued to have strong bonds with their mother country to this day. Their story is a fascinating one and this museum, the first of its kind in the country, tells it with well-organized exhibits and rare artifacts. The museum is closed during the winter.

Providence, RI, United States
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