Rent the Museum

The RISD Museum is a unique venue for your private event—accommodating corporate meetings, receptions, dinners, and lectures. Galleries, meeting rooms, a private garden, and our large  auditorium offer you a range of spaces, large and small. In addition to your rented area, you may also have access to the Museum’s galleries—enhancing your guests’ experience. The Museum is not available for political events, religious services, fundraisers, or temporary art displays. Our Special Events Manager will meet with you by appointment to view Museum spaces and discuss your event needs. Browse the spaces and inquire below.

 

large art gallery with long event tables set for a meal

Grand Gallery

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Centerpiece of the RISD Museum visitor experience, Grand Gallery is an exceptional and elegant space.

Capacity
A cocktail reception in Grand Gallery accommodates up to 200 guests. The space can accommodate seated dinners for up to 120 (buffet style) or up to 150 (seated, served), depending on room setup.

Availability
Grand Gallery is available for rental Tuesday – Sunday after Museum public hours, or any time on Mondays when the Museum is closed. It is not available for rental during public hours of operation, which are 10 am to 5 pm, Tuesday through Sunday.

Rental and Facility Usage Fees
The facility usage fee for this space is $3,000, based on an event starting at 5:30 or later, and concluding by 8:30. Additional time incurs a fee of $400 per hour. Events on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday may incur an additional set up fee as do sit-down dinners for 80 or more. Rental rates are subject to change based on details of the event and requested access to additional galleries.

Fee Includes

  • Museum security and custodial coverage, as well as event coordination assistance
  • Use of the Museum’s tables, chairs, podium, A/V equipment, and sound system
  • Use of a baby grand piano (tuning fee may apply) is available (upon request)
  • Private use of the Grand Gallery-adjacent Landscape Gallery and access to the surrounding fifth floor galleries during your event

Guidelines
A complete listing of Museum Event Guidelines will be provided with event confirmation and includes the following of special note:

  • No red wine, cranberry juice, tomato juice, or other red liquids are allowed in the Museum
  • No open flames
  • All catering, floral, music, photographer, and other vendor arrangements must be approved by the Museum’s Special Events Manager at least 30 days prior to your event
  • Food and drink must remain in the Grand Gallery at all times

auditorium with a stage, without people

Metcalf Auditorium

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The Michael P. Metcalf Auditorium, located on the ground floor of the Chace Center, seats up to 200 people in fixed theatre seating and has a full spectrum of audio visual capabilities. The adjacent Chace Lobby, a public space, is available for limited use in conjunction with your daytime event and is available outside of Museum public hours for private rental.

Capacity
200

Availability
Metcalf Auditorium is available for rental Tuesday – Sunday during and outside of Museum public hours and Monday when the Museum is closed.

Rental and Facility Usage Fees
The facility usage fee for this space is $1000 for an event lasting from 5:30 or later until 8:30 pm. Rates differ for daytime use. Additional time incurs a fee of $100 per hour. Rates are subject to change based on details of the event and requested access to galleries.

Fee Includes

  • Museum security and custodial coverage, as well as event coordination assistance
  • Use of the Museum’s tables and chairs
  • Use of all on-site AV equipment in Metcalf Auditorium, as well as a technician

Guidelines
A complete listing of Museum Event Guidelines will be provided with event confirmation and includes the following of special note:

  • No red wine, cranberry juice, tomato juice or other red liquids are allowed in the Museum
  • Please Note: only bottled water is allowed in the auditorium.
  • All catering, floral, music, photographer and other vendor arrangements must be approved by the Museum’s Special Events Manager at least 30 days prior to your event

lobby with three tables and a visitor services desk

Chace Lobby

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The sleek lobby of the Jose Rafael Moneo-designed Chace Center provides a modern backdrop for your reception, either on its own or in conjunction with a presentation in Metcalf Auditorium or a visit to adjacent galleries on the floors above.

Capacity
200

Availability
Because it is a public space, the Chace Lobby is only available for rental Tuesday – Sunday outside of Museum public hours or on Mondays when the Museum is closed. Limited private use is possible during public hours in conjunction with rental of Metcalf Auditorium.

Rental and Facility Usage Fees
The facility usage fee for this space is $1000 for an event lasting from 5:30 or later until 8:30 pm. Additional time incurs a fee of $100 per hour. Rates are subject to change based on details of the event and requested access to galleries.

Fee Includes

  • Museum security and custodial coverage, as well as event coordination assistance
  • Use of the Museum’s tables and chairs

Guidelines
A complete listing of Museum Event Guidelines will be provided with event confirmation and includes the following of special note:

  • No red wine, cranberry juice, tomato juice or other red liquids are allowed in the Museum
  • All catering, floral, music, photographer and other vendor arrangements must be approved by the Museum’s Special Events Manager at least 30 days prior to your event

cafe without people

Cafe Pearl

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The Pearl and Ernest Nathan Gallery, home to Café Pearl, is a sophisticated, modern setting for your small cocktail party or casual dinner.

Capacity
The space accommodates up to 75 guests for a reception or a seated dinner for up to 40 guests. Capacity depends on your event setup.

Availability
Café Pearl is available Tuesday – Sunday after Museum public hours, or any time on Mondays when the Museum is closed. The Café is not available for rental during public hours of operation, which are 7:30am to 5pm, Tuesday through Sunday.   

Rental and Facility Usage Fees
The facility usage fee for this space is $750 for an event starting at 5:30 pm or later and concluding by 8:30 pm. Additional time incurs a fee of $100 per hour. Rental rates are subject to change based on details of the event and requested access to galleries.

Fee Includes

  • Museum security and custodial coverage, as well as event coordination assistance
  • Use of the Museum’s tables, chairs, podium, A/V equipment, and sound system

Guidelines
A complete listing of Museum Event Guidelines will be provided with event confirmation and includes the following of special note:

  • No red wine, cranberry juice, tomato juice or other red liquids are allowed in the Museum
  • No open flames
  • All catering, floral, music, photographer and other vendor arrangements must be approved by the Museum’s Special Events Manager at least 30 days prior to your event

conference room with one large table surrounded with chairs and a projection screen

Danforth Hall and Radeke Garden

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The Murray S. Danforth, Jr. and Helen Metcalf Danforth Lecture Hall, Gift of Mrs. Murray S. Danforth Jr., is a flexible space available for board meetings, presentations, cocktail receptions, or seated meals. The Radeke Garden is an enclosed courtyard featuring a variety of plants including a stately ginkgo tree. Because spaces are adjacent, rental of one provides access to the other. Especially beautiful in fall and spring, the Garden is not available in winter or during inclement weather.

Capacity
Meetings seat 20 conference-style; presentations 40 lecture-style; receptions can accommodate up to 75 guests; seated meals, up to 60 guests.

Availability
Unlike other spaces at the Museum, Danforth Hall and the Radeke Garden are available both during the Museum’s public hours of operation (Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5pm) and after hours.

Rental and Facility Usage Fees
The facility usage fee for this space is $500 for a full day during Museum public hours.  Access before 10 am incurs a fee of $100 per hour.

The facility usage fee after Museum public hours is $1200, based on an event starting at 5:30 pm or later and concluding by 8:30 pm.  Additional time incurs a fee of $250 per hour. Rental rates are subject to change based on the details of the event and requested access to additional galleries.

Fee Includes

  • Museum security and custodial coverage, as well as event coordination assistance
  • Use of the Museum’s tables, chairs, podium, projector and A/V equipment, microphone and sound system
  • Access to selected Museum galleries
  • Flip charts and a conference phone are available upon request.

Guidelines
A complete listing of Museum Event Guidelines will be provided with event confirmation and includes the following of special note:

  • No red wine, cranberry juice, tomato juice or other red liquids are allowed in the Museum
  • No open flames
  • All catering, floral, music, photographer and other vendor arrangements must be approved by the Museum’s Special Events Manager at least 30 days prior to your event

long room with wood-panel walls and two chandeliers

Porcelain Gallery

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The Lucy Truman Aldrich Gallery, also known as the Porcelain Gallery, is a charming and intimate setting for your small meeting, reception, or dinner.

Capacity
Up to 50 guests for a reception or seated dinner for up to 30, depending on setup

Availability
The Porcelain Gallery is available Tuesday – Sunday after Museum public hours, or any time on Mondays when the Museum is closed. It is not available for rental during public hours of operation, which are 10 am to 5 pm, Tuesday through Sunday.   

Rental and Facility Usage Fees
The facility usage fee for this space is $1000, based on an event starting at 5:30 pm or later and concluding by 8:30 pm.  Additional time incurs a fee of $200 per hour. Rental rates are subject to change based on the details of the event and requested access to additional galleries.

Fee Includes

  • Museum security and custodial coverage, as well as event coordination assistance
  • Use of the Museum’s tables, chairs, podium,  A/V equipment, and sound system
  • Access to selected Museum galleries

Guidelines
A complete listing of Museum Event Guidelines will be provided with event confirmation and includes the following of special note:

  • No red wine, cranberry juice, tomato juice or other red liquids are allowed in the Museum
  • No open flames
  • All catering, floral, music, photographer and other vendor arrangements must be approved by the Museum’s Special Events Manager at least 30 days prior to your event

 

General Information

MUSEUM AS A VENUE

The Museum is a perfect setting for your private or corporate event. Our Special Events Manager works with you to ensure your goals are met in line with Museum protocols and regulations. Complete Museum Event Guidelines will be provided with your event confirmation. The Museum is fully wheelchair accessible and a limited quantity of wheelchairs are available for visitor use. Because most spaces are also galleries containing works of art, events must be planned with care to avoid damage to the collection. Some regulations include restrictions on food and beverages in certain galleries, no red beverages or open flames of any kind are allowed, and nothing may be taped to Museum walls or furniture. No artwork will be repositioned for your event unless determined by the Museum, and music or activity that is deemed detrimental to event guests, the Museum, or the art collection is not permitted. Gifts cannot be carried through the Museum and must be left at the Visitor Services desk or at a table in the lobby. All vendors, activities, and decorations must be approved in advance.

TYPES OF RENTALS

RISD Museum spaces accommodate a variety of events. The Grand Gallery is the Museum’s main entertaining space, and the perfect setting for your reception (accommodates up to 200 guests) or sit down dinner (up to 150 guests). For smaller events, Danforth Hall, the Porcelain Gallery, the Radeke Garden and Café Pearl can also be configured for receptions or meals. Small corporate meetings in Danforth Hall can accommodate up to 20 guests. Larger presentations in Metcalf Auditorium, along with the use of the adjacent Chace Lobby, provide space for up to 200 attendees.

The Museum is not available for political campaign events, religious services, fundraisers, or temporary art displays.

RENTAL RATES & FEES

Rates and facility usage fees are based on the space and timing of the event.

The facility usage fee for events held outside Museum public hours (Tuesday – Sunday 10 am to 5 pm) includes private access to selected Museum spaces during the agreed upon timeframes outlined in the contract, Museum security staff in all areas of the Museum that are open to your guests, custodial staff to assist with setup and breakdown of your event, use of equipment and furniture listed below, and event coordination assistance. In addition, a special events staff member will be on duty during your event to direct the caterer and other vendors. The Museum’s Special Events Manager is a liaison, available to ensure your event goes smoothly and that Museum guidelines are followed, however they do not assume the duties of a private event planner.

Your rental fee includes basic audio/visual equipment and up to ten 30” cocktail tables (high or low), 125 black ballroom chairs, 6’ plastic-topped folding tables, and 60” plastic-topped round tables.

Not included in the facility usage fee are catering costs, linens, flowers, decorations, or parking. Additional furniture or audio visual equipment must be rented separately and is subject to approval.

PARKING

There are a number of paid parking lots within a few blocks of the Museum as well as on-street parking in the vicinity. Valet parking can be arranged separately.

CATERING

Catering must be provided by a licensed caterer with an off-premises catering license. The Museum can provide a list of recommended caterers. You may choose another caterer though they must be approved by the Special Events Manager who will work with them and provide Museum Event Guidelines.

Menus should be planned to avoid potential damage to Museum facilities, especially the art work, and must be submitted to the Special Event Manager for approval thirty days prior to the event. Food and beverages may only be served by the caterer and may only be consumed in designated areas of the Museum.

No red wine or other red beverages may be served. Open flames are not permitted.

All alcoholic beverages must be served by a licensed bartender provided by a caterer who carries an off-premises liquor license and $1 million dollar liquor liability insurance. All applicable liquor laws must be followed

AUDIO/VISUAL

Basic A/V equipment, including a microphone and speakers, podium, and small riser, is available in the galleries for speaking programs or playing of recorded music. If you require additional equipment, an approved A/V company can be hired to provide these services.  All A/V arrangements in the galleries must be approved by the Special Events Manager.

Metcalf Auditorium has a wide variety of A/V equipment. Rentals of Metcalf Auditorium include the services of an on-site A/V technician.

 

Rental Requests

Complete the Rental Request Form Here