Purpose and Location
Rough Point is a Gothic-style home turned historic museum in Newport, R.I., that contains an extensive collection of fine and decorative arts. Located on a historic landscape with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, the property offers a window into a bygone era and is experienced today largely as it was lived in during the life of its final owner, Doris Duke. Paintings within the museum include works by Gainsborough, van Dyck, Reynolds, Bol and Renoir, and guided tours, exhibitions and cultural events are available year-round to the general public.
History and Operations
Doris Duke inherited Rough Point from her father, James Buchanan Duke, who endowed Duke University and founded Duke Power and the American Tobacco Company. After Doris Duke’s death in 1993 and per the directives in her will, Rough Point opened to the public in 2000 and has since been funded by the Doris Duke Foundation and operated by the Newport Restoration Foundation (NRF). Duke founded the NRF in 1968 to preserve, maintain and interpret Aquidneck Island’s then-vanishing 18th- and 19th-century architectural heritage. With support from NRF, more than 100 architects and craftsmen worked over 16 years to save 83 Colonial and Federal-era structures in Newport.
Today, NRF manages a collection of 78 early American homes, most of which are rented to tenant-stewards, and operates three museum properties open to the public: Rough Point, Whitehorn House Museum and Prescott Farm. To plan a visit or learn more about Rough Point, visit https://www.newportrestoration.org/roughpoint/.