Located in Newport, Rhode Island, the Audrain Automobile Museum has a mission to preserve and present automotive history while connecting and engaging with other non-profits and the community as a whole. Established in 2014, the Museum transformed the historic Audrain Building into a captivating display floor, fit specifically for our cultural needs. The Museum has access to collections with of over 200 cars, allowing for three fresh and unique exhibits per year. Ranging from Brass Era pre-War cars to Supercars of the 2000s, the Museum is dedicated to entertaining all generations and stylistic preferences.
America’s love affair with automobiles is intrinsic and Newport’s role is essential. The Museum engages and educates the Aquidneck Island community through car events and other nonprofits to further its position within automotive history. As the Museum continues to grow, so does its status as a must stop destination for both car enthusiasts and Newport visitors alike.
The Audrain Automobile Museum is committed to working with other local non-profit organizations to better the community and further charitable missions. The Museum works closely with the Newport Preservation Society, Newport Historical Society, Redwood Library & Athenaeum, Norman Bird Sanctuary, Newport Art Museum, Newport Film, Salve Regina University, Roger Williams University, Saint Michael’s Country Day School, Saint George’s School, Newport Hospital and the American Heart Association.
AAM has cross-promoted exhibits with the Redwood Library & Athenaeum, sponsored ‘High Heels & Hot Wheels’ with the Newport Hospital, and worked closely with the Newport Preservation Society for ‘Cars & Coffee’ and other events. The Museum sends cars and participates in joint educational events with the Newport Historical Society as well as the Newport Art Museum, sponsoring their annual Antique Show. AAM has also worked closely and lent cars to Newport Film and the Rhode Island Film Forum.
The Museum has also incorporated an internship program, which allows students from Salve Regina University, Roger Williams University, Saint Michael’s Country Day School and Saint George’s School to get involved with the non-profit community. AAM also promotes educational events, partnering with local summer camps and elementary schools for field trips and guided tours of the Museum.
The Museum is a proud member of the car show community, sending cars and setting up exhibits at events across the country and world, including: Northeast International Auto Show, British Motorcar Festival, Portsmouth Abby Car Show, Greenwich Concours d’Elegance, Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, New York International Car Show.
The Audrain Automobile Museum’s goal has always been to acquire and preserve automobiles with historical significance to Newport. Lacking a suitable stage, the Museum’s founding fathers took it upon themselves to find a proper home for some of Newport’s most important artifacts. Defunct and outdated, the historic Audrain Building symbolized a perfect storm: a home for the museum and an opportunity to restore and preserve a key piece of Newport history.
Designed by noted architect Bruce Price in 1903, the Audrain Building represents one of the four Gilded Age buildings that form an architecturally significant block on Bellevue Avenue. Price drew inspiration from the Florentine Renaissance to create an iconic two-story edifice defined by broad arched windows and a roofline distinguished by a white terra-cotta balustrade with lion sculptures. The first floor was originally designed to feature six retail shops and the second floor accommodated 11 offices. During the 20th century, a hurricane damaged the balustrade and lion sculptures, warranting their removal. By the early 21st century, the building was in desperate need of restoration.