The Bell Gallery is located in the List Art Center, on the Brown University campus and is open to the public. You will find all manner of modern art in this sparse white space. In one month you could see an exhibit by three artists working with photography and texts, an installation about a vanished Russian cosmonaut and photographs depicting a futuristic society of bog-dwellers. All events at the Bell Gallery are free. Include this gallery in a walking tour of the campus.
AS220 is a non-profit venue that foments love for art in all its myriad forms. They have various resources open to the public, some are free, others require a nominal fee. Some of the workshops and classes include computer labs that teach programming languages, darkroom skills for DSLR Newbies and print shop techniques for traditional media purists. Additionally, inside this 22,000-square-foot building, visitors will find several galleries and a stage where local artists display their talents. There is always something new at AS220.
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.
Established in 1822, the Rhode Island Historical Society is an organization that aims to preserve and maintain the state's historical archives and landmarks. As a part of this endeavor, it manages several locations in Providence. The most highlighted ones are The John Brown House Museum, The Museum of Work & Culture, The Aldrich House and The RIHS Library, where the headquarters is located. The collections at these museums feature books, journals, manuscripts, and objects about life in both pre- and post-revolutionary America. Additionally, the society also conducts workshops, seminars and tours with many of the proceeds directed towards preserving the history of this original colony that was the first to secede from the British Crown.
The Providence Art Club is the second oldest clubhouse of this kind in the United States after the famous Salgamundi Art Club in New York. The galleries and exhibitions support artists around the greater New England region and all are open to the public. Some of the exhibits include photography, assembled prints, film, sculpture and much, much more. It's better to visit during the week as opposed to weekends when it's only open for two hours.
Located in a lush garden close to Brown University, this ancient relic built in 1890 is fairly small, but in pretty good shape considering that it's more than a century old. Named after Herbert Ladd, the observatory served as a center of astronomical research and timekeeping for years, and although the equipment is considered archaic by today's standards, it's still relevant for Brown University's sky-watchers. To visit, the observatory is only open to the public on Tuesdays, but it's free admission.
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.