Year-Round Open Tours

Throughout the year, the NMAI offers a guided tour every Friday at 3pm. There is no need for advance reservation and the cost is included with the regular admission rates. Please call ahead if it is a Holiday weekend to check scheduling.

Self-Guided Audio Tours

Learn the history of Vernon Court, the home of the National Museum of American Illustration, and our American Imagist Collection with our Self-Guided Audio Tour. The Audio Tour features introductions to the seven main galleries as well as biographies of 50 featured illustrators and over 50 illustrations on display.

The Audio Tour is included in the price of admission and provided upon entry on the NMAI's Kindle Fire tablets. Alternatively, download the Audio Tour on your Smart Phone or Tablet device to keep as a souvenir before you arrive. The Audio Tour will automatically update with any changes to our main exhibitions. If you download the tour, we suggest bringing headphones or earbuds during your visit. Simply search "National Museum of American Illustration" in your App Store, or click the appropriate link below for your device below:

Group Tours

For a Group Tour of twelve (12) persons or more, the rate is $20 per person. For groups of six (6) to eleven (11) persons, the rate is $25 per person. Student tour groups will honor the student rate of $14 per student. These tours are non-exclusive, and frequently other visitors will be appended to the tour. All tours require advanced reservations and are subject to availability. Group Tour reservations may be made by Telephone, Fax, or Email. 

School and Student groups as well as bus tours and very large groups are also welcome. Please call the Admissions Office at (401) 851-8949 ext. 18 for more details.

All Group Tours are accommodated at the discretion of the Admissions Office and require deposits in advance.

Private VIP Tours

For an exclusive, intimate tour of the NMAI and its American Imagist collection without the crowds, the Private VIP Tour gives your group a unique look at our Golden Age Illustrators. Customized to fit your specific interests, a VIP Tour allows you to move at your own pace, focusing on what you choose in a more conversational style. The guide is there to answer all of your questions, provide information on Vernon Court, the gilded age mansion, and the artworks on display.

VIP Tours are offered at $100 per person with a four (4) person minimum required. These are exclusive tours, with no other party allowed to attend. VIP Tour reservations may be made by Telephone, Fax or Email, and are subject to availability.

All Group Tours are accommodated at the discretion of the Admissions Office and require deposits in advance.

Founders' Tours:
The Ultimate Journey through American Illustration Art

Go behind the scenes for an exclusive tour of the first museum dedicated to Golden Age American Illustration Art! We invite you to join the Museum’s Founders and Directors, Judy and Laurence Cutler, on an all-encompassing and in-depth tour of Vernon Court, the Gilded Age Newport mansion that is home to the NMAI. Hear fantastic stories and secrets about the paintings in our collection, the history of the museum, and the architecture of Vernon Court itself.

Interested to know how or why the Cutlers started their own museum from scratch? Ever wondered about the artists behind your favorite Saturday Evening Post magazine covers? Just curious how much it costs to heat a Newport mansion in the winter? Ask away! The NMAI Founders are your gracious hosts for the tour.

Included with your Founders’ tour are a signed copy of Norman Rockwell and His Contemporaries (by Judy and Laurence Cutler), complimentary drinks and snacks from our concessions stand, and a 15% discount on books, prints, and other merchandise in our MuseShop.

The NMAI is consistently ranked one of TripAdvisor’s Top 10 destinations in Newport, and was ranked the #1 Museum in Rhode Island Worth Traveling For by FlipKey. Our exhibitions have traveled the world to incredible acclaim, and our collection is constantly growing and evolving.

Don’t miss this chance to learn about this incredible museum straight from the Founders themselves! For more information on the Founders, please click here.

To book this once-in-a-lifetime experience, please call (401) 851-8949, or email