Notes from the Field: Varnum House Museum

Categories // Field Notes, July 2013

Working on a Saturday morning is not so bad when work consists of visiting a beautiful historic house in East Greenwich, RI. While we get to visit many historic house museums as part of the RHODI Project, the Varnum House stands out because of its bright, open, airy feeling, in addition to its unique history. It is also home to a few pieces that caught my eye.

vh1This portrait has an interesting story behind it: it was done by an itinerant painter who, at the time of visiting this house, had no portraits of two boys prepared. So the parents opted to have their sons’ faces added to this portrait of two young girls. I think the effect is pretty striking; certainly unlike other portraits we’ve seen so far in our survey.

A few other memorable details:




The Rhode Island Historical Society’s RHODI Project is funded by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Scholarly Communication and Information Technology Program.

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