Welcome to the Bristol Art Museum located in Downtown Bristol, Rhode Island! BAM is a non-profit organization 501 (c) 3, founded in 1963. We serve the local East Bay and greater Rhode Island community. Visit the main galleries at 10 Wardwell Street, located behind the historic Linden Place museum.
BAM is a proud member of the American Alliance of Museums & the New England Museum Association, as well as a participant in the Blue Star Museums program.
BAM's mission is to encourage the creation, promotion, and appreciation of the arts through rotating exhibitions and educational opportunities. Community outreach programs and partnerships are central to our goal of engaging diverse audiences in the arts of our time. BAM aims to enrich the cultural life of the community and region through eclectic exhibitions and educational programs, and to be an accessible community resource for future generations.
Jane Lavender, Chair
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Alison DeKleine, Vice Chair
( AlisonatBAM@gmail.com )
Lynn Moran, Secretary
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Lois Hamblet, Treasurer
( Lhamblet@hotmail.com )
Mary Dondero, Exhibition Curator
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Mary Ellen Dwyer
The Bristol Art Museum was founded in 1963 by three women from Bristol: Jill Pardee, Margaret Nerone, and Marie Perry. Mrs. Ethel Barrymore Colt Miglietta, heir to the Linden Place Estate, offered them the use of her Ballroom at Linden Place, which they then converted into functioning gallery space.
Each year nine exhibits were mounted between the months of June and October (no heat). The venue attracted major artists like Frank Benson, George DeForest Brush, Robert Motherwell, Maxfield Parrish, Norman Rockwell, and Richard Grosvenor, to name but a few. Over the years BAM presented loaned works of art from various museum collections ranging from the Metropolitan in NYC, Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Smithsonian and the Rhode Island School Design Museum.
With the passing of Mrs. Ethel Barrymore in 1986, the Linden Place estate was put up for sale. With the support of a major grant from the RI Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission, a successful art auction by the Bristol Art Museum and many private donations the “Friends of Linden Place” was formed.