Who We Are

The RISD Museum believes that art, artists, and the institutions that support them play pivotal roles in promoting broad civic engagement and creating more open societies. 

Established in 1877 as part of a vibrant creative community, the RISD Museum stewards works of art representing diverse cultures from ancient times to the present. 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. We aspire to create an accessible and inclusive environment that fosters meaningful relationships across all communities.

To learn more about the museum's recent activities, including information about visitation, programs, collections care, and more, we invite you to read our Year in Review. The Year In Review is a snapshot of our most recently completed fiscal year, which ran from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021. In our effort to become a more transparent and equitable institution, we created this new publication – which will be published annually going forward – to provide our community with a comprehensive look at the museum's activities and finances for this past fiscal year.

The RISD Museum is committed to working deliberately, consistently, and compassionately to confront racism and injustice in its many forms. Read more here.

The RISD Museum is committed to environmental stewardship and sustainable practices. Read more here.


Our Collection

Our collection currently contains more than 100,000 works of art and design dating from ancient times to today including paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, costume and textiles, and furniture from all over the world. Of these objects, 2,178 of them are on view in the Museum now, 82,912 of them are available online, and there are 919 recent acquisitions.

The RISD Museum provides free access to digital images of public domain materials in the collection for any purpose. We want our collection, scholarship, and interpretive content to be accessed, distributed, and reused by everyone.

Our Leadership

The Museum Board of Governors and Fine Arts Committee provides oversight of the RISD Museum on behalf of RISD’s Board of Trustees and assists and supports the Museum in fulfilling its mission to acquire, preserve, exhibit, and interpret works of art and design representing diverse cultures from ancient times to the present.

Contact us

You belong here. We aspire to create an accessible and inclusive place for all. Share your experience with us at museum@risd.edu. See our staff directory for additional ways to get in touch.