Research informs how we acquire works of art, care for the collection, and develop exhibitions. Research helps generate new knowledge and expertise, enhances access, and provides artists and our community with opportunities for sustained collaboration.

Established in 1877 as part of a vibrant creative community, we interpret our collection with the focus on the maker and we deeply engage with art and artists, presenting ideas and perspectives that can be inspiring and complex. Collaboration with artists, students, and faculty at RISD, Brown, and other area colleges and universities is fundamental to how we research and interpret art and design.


Study Centers

Students, faculty, and researchers to view objects upon request

Artistic Research

We provide spaces and opportunities for the intersection of artistic practice and research. Such creative investigations might take the form of collaborative and open-ended forms of exploration and inquiry that lead to new work and insights.

Design Research

Serving as a laboratory for a larger creative community, the RISD Museum encourages new design methods through experimentation, iteration, and collaboration.

Research Platforms

We are committed to sharing research in its many forms with our audiences through digital and analog publications as well as experimental platforms.

Research Fellowships

We offer fellowships for curators, artists, designers, and faculty to pursue research, develop new work, and make important contributions to their fields, the RISD Museum, and our communities.

Collection Research

The staff of the RISD Museum stewards works of art representing diverse cultures, from ancient times to the present.. Our work includes archival, scientific, and humanities-based research.