The Photographers' Guild of the Newport Art Museum (a.k.a. the Newport PhotoGuild), an affiliate of the Newport Art Museum, Newport RI, is a non-profit organization of local individuals with a common interest in photography.

The guild seeks to :

guild membersWe warmly welcome everyone who shares these interests and we are enriched by every individual and their experience. With a new and exciting schedule of programs for this season, we have something for everyone. Our membership, (over 100 strong!) is diverse, fun, and interesting. Please join us!

Guild History

In the winter of 1987 a group of Newport "camera enthusiasts" met to plan what we know today as the Photographers Guild of the Newport Art Museum.  According to Mary Shepard, "I think I was the main instigator of the club,  but I had help from Herb Rommel, Sally Martin, and perhaps Father Chris Davis.   I was a "serious amateur"  when I moved to Newport in 1986,  and had had exhibitions of my architectural photographs in museums.  I used to talk about the idea of a camera club with Peter Petropolous, owner of the camera store in Washington Square, and he said there used to be a camera club in Newport, but there was no enthusiasm for it and it died.  Meanwhile I had gone to a meeting of a camera club in Warwick, and I thought we could do something in Newport. Retired Captain Herb Rommel and his wife, Mary, were friends of mine on the Point, and Herb was a serious amateur and had his own black and white darkroom.  Herb's encouragement was the tipping point,  and with the blessing of the Newport Art Museum and the use of one of their rooms for meetings, we were off".

The plans for the group followed the format of the Artists' Guild of the Newport Art Museum and membership in the Art Museum was a prerequisite for membership in the new camera club.   Herb wrote up the first meeting notices on his manual typewriter.  Later Mary Shepard did quarterly newsletters mailed out postcard reminders, and even hung posters of meetings in the libraries and local cafes.  Everything was stamps and snail-mail in those days, a lot of detail work.  Art museum members were invited to photo guild events, and the guild was noted in the museum's newsletter.  There were shooting expeditions, picnics,  and social outings. Some of the great early presenters included the magnetic Chip Benson and his gravure printing partner, Thomas Palmer, art photographer and Harvard teacher Barbara Norfleet, Olivia Parker, yacht photographer J.H. Peterson, John Hopf, and Jan Armor, among many others.  

In the fall of 1989 Guild meetings moved from Sunday afternoon to a week night.  A darkroom was set-up in the basement of the Cushing Gallery that shared space with the museum carpenter, a less than ideal situation.  Construction of the expansion of the Cushing Gallery resulted in the closing of that dark room in January 1990.  By the summer of 1992, a new darkroom was ready for use and located over the Griffin Shop in the Griswold House.  On December 7, 1990 the Guild conducted its first exhibition of photographs at the Newport Art Museum an event that continues to this day.

Today the Guild is enriched by more than one hundred photographers of all levels.  Our programs and activities provide members the opportunity to grow as artists and share their talent in a community of supportive fellow camera enthusiasts!


Presidents- While many individuals have contributed to the success of the Guild, the individuals listed below accepted the responsibility of guiding the organization as its leader.

Synwold2014-18 Lew Keen
2011-14 Tony Stapleton
2010-11 Tim Revello
2009-10 Jack Renner
2005-09 Don Jagoe
2004-05 Don Heywood
2003-04
2002-03
2001-02 Sue Stevenson
1998-01 Federico Santi
1996-98 Eric Hovermale
1994-96 Mike Mendell
1993-94 Evan Leviss
1991-93 Jan Armor
1987-1991 Mary Shepard