RISD Library Picture Collection

Contact information, map and directions, contact form, opening hours, services, ratings, photos, videos and announcements from RISD Library Picture Collection, Art school, 15 Westminster Street, Providence, RI.

Operating as usual


It looks like Block Island had electric cars back in the early 1900's! Way ahead of the curve!


Now here's a bathroom design that never caught on. Formica ad, 1957.

Photos from RISD Library Picture Collection's post 03/17/2022

I can't believe it's been two years since the great Covid shut-down of 2020. Today, let's enjoy the lighter side with a few vintage St. Patricks' Day postcards.

Photos from RISD Library Picture Collection's post 05/06/2021

The Picture Collection has a large collection of Magazine Covers from various decades. These are all in the circulating collection, soon to be available digitally.


Students & staff with campus access can make an appointment to access the Materials & Picture Collections. Hours are between 9 and 4pm Monday - Friday. Can't plan ahead? We can take walk-ins as space allows. https://risd.libcal.com/reserve/library

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Photos from RISD Library Picture Collection's post 04/15/2020

Though the Picture Collection is currently closed due to COVID-19, we are working behind the scenes to digitize some of our hidden collections, such as these Victorian novelty and trade cards.

Photos from RISD Library Picture Collection's post 10/11/2019

Need some fearful faces for Halloween frights?


The Picture Collection went through a big move this summer, merging with the Material Collection in a new combined space. All of the files are still here, just in a new location. Still on the 2nd floor of the Fleet Library at 15 Westminster. New hours are 8:30 - 7pm Monday through Thursday, and 8:30 - 4:30 Friday.


Wanted: Magazine donations! We get a lot of requests for material that students can cut up for collage projects, inspiration boards, etc...and we take any and all donations of magazines, catalogs, calendars, etc...that have pictorial content. Donations can be dropped off any time during open hours, either in the Picture Collection, or at the Library circulation desk. No donation is too small.


This 1939 gem can be found in our "Gas Stations" file.

Timeline Photos 01/09/2019

In September 1990, I had recently started a new semester at RISD in Providence and had wanted to do something on a larger scale. I had my eye on a billboard located at a busy intersection at the base of a hill near campus. It was a campaign ad for Buddy Cianci, who was running for mayor of Providence. I was taking an illustration class from my professor Fred Lynch , and our first assignment was to open a fortune cookie and illustrate whatever it said. Mine read: "To affect the quality of the day is no small achievement." I figured I would affect the quality of the day with humor by pasting Andre the Giant's face and name over Cianci’s. The next day, the story was all over the news: radio, TV, newspaper, everything. People at RISD were going crazy. It was just a prank, but people thought there was some political or moralistic motivation behind it... visit my site: obeygiant.com (link in bio) to read the full story!
From the archives:
Editorial Illustration class project, 1990
mixed media
18 x 24”

artsy.net 07/20/2018

A Look inside the Little-Known Image Library That’s Inspired Artists for over a Century

Read this fascinating article about the New York Public Library Picture Collection, and realize that we have our very own collection similar to this here at RISD. Picture libraries are where it's at! https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-inside-little-known-image-library-inspired-artists-century

artsy.net From Andy Warhol to Dorothea Lange, artists have long been visiting New York Public Library’s Picture Collection, which hosts over five million images.

May Day 05/01/2018

Did you know that we have a folder for "Maypoles" in the Picture Collection. Get your May Day on!


Winter sports!


For all you Valentines out there...


The Picture Collection can be your source for Santas.


Lots of free books available in the Picture Collection. Summer weeding project in the library=lots of free stuff!


Wool, linen, cotton, sporting tweeds....just a few samples from the collection of Textiles in the Material Resource Center.


Conscientiously Crafted in Italy

The Visual Resources Center recently hosted a display of handcrafted shoes made by RISD students in a Wintersession shoe design course. Check out the blog post for images of the students' work! http://our.risd.edu/post/157318078174/conscientiously-crafted-in-italy

our.risd.edu Students in Shoe Design: Perception, History & Prototyping, a Wintersession travel study course in Italy, shared the awesome outcomes of their immersion in Italian design and shoemaking at a pop-up...

Pulp Fiction Covers 12/07/2016

The Picture Collection is the lucky recipient of a gift of over 300 pulp fiction covers.


Looking at examples from the Cuban poster collection in the Picture Collection.

Voting Day 11/08/2016

Exercise your right to vote today!


Two fabulous N.C. Wyeth illustrated maps recently found in our Illustration files.


The RISD Library's Graphic Design and Illustration Archive is the recipient of a marvelous gift of a collection of work by Otto Hupp, a German typographer and designer from the early 20th century.


Athenaeum Row circa 1930's.


A cactus frock and a knitting hat...these crazy creations are from 1941!


Since this is an Olympic year, we have our collection of extraordinary 1972 Munich Olympic posters on display.


Summer programs have begun, and students are making use of the Picture Collection!


Today's picture: The Curtiss Candy Company ran some wonderful 2-page ads in 1940's Life Magazine.


Today's Picture:
We often mention that one of the perks for searching for images in their physical form is finding that interesting picture on the back of the clipping that originally interested you. Isn't this a fabulous Campbell's soup advertisement from 1936? You might find this on the web, but would you be able to turn it over and find paintings by Adolf Hi**er on the back?


What would Easter weekend be without some Easter dandies in their Easter bonnets by J.C. Leyendecker?

pinterest.com 01/12/2016

Vintage Travel Brochures

Vintage Travel brochures uploaded to Pinterest today. Found in our Advertising-Travel folder. These are just the covers. Come in to the Picture Collection to browse the actual items and unfold glorious vintage maps and unbelievable prices inside these brochures!

pinterest.com 1953 Florida vacation brochure.

Fancy Dress Costume 10/27/2015

Need inspiration for your Artist Ball costume? Look no further than our Costume-Fancy Dress file in the Picture Collection.

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15 Westminster Street
Providence, RI
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