401 Gives Fundraising Event 2023

This year, the Peace Dale Museum of Art and Culture will again take part in 401Gives, an opportunity for Rhode Islanders to unite around causes in which they truly believe. Last year, more than 13,000 Rhode Islanders helped raise $3.1 million for 507 nonprofit organizations. We hope that you, your family, and your friends will make a donation to help us continue our educational work.
Please visit our 401Gives page and make your donation on April 1st!!

The Memory Pile Tradition

Thursday December 1 at 7:00pm


On Thursday, December 1, anthropologist Timothy Ives will talk about the many historical written descriptions of memory piles and their implications for archaeology. Dr. Ives, formerly the Rhode Island state archaeologist, will consider why this practice has long fascinated European-American observers.

Since early colonial days and perhaps before, Native American travelers have left a stone, stick, or other object at specific roadside locations. While local beliefs varied, securing good fortune through an act of remembrance appears to have been a common goal. Travelers, historians, and ethnographers have variously referred to the objects of this practice as memory piles, sacrifice rocks, stone heaps, or taverns.

The program, which is free and open to the public, will be live streamed on the Museum’s YouTube channel and will be recorded for later viewing. 

The Museum’s mission is to educate children and adults about the pre-industrial world through exciting and thought-provoking programs and exhibits that focus on local history and archaeology. The Museum’s work is supported entirely by donations from members and friends and through private grants.

Museum Celebrates it’s 130th Year Anniversary with a Senate Citation!

Senator Susan Sosnowski presents a RI Senate Citation to The Peace Dale Museum of Art & Culture in celebration of the Museum’s 130th Anniversary at The Dunes Club Antique Appraisal Gala.
Appraiser, Thomas Tomaszek, Senator Susan Sosnowski, Lisa Fiore, President and Mary Cocroft Brown, Vice President of the Museum Board. Picture by Jerrilyn Jacobs

One hundred thirty years ago, Rowland G. Hazard II had an idea— a museum for the community. He wanted to bring objects from around the world to the Village of Peace Dale. As an enthusiastic collector, creating a museum was a natural extension of his strong interest in archeology and anthropology. Rowland reached out to family members and to the community, and the collection grew.

We continue to serve as a cultural resource for the community, offering stellar Spring and Fall lecture series and providing educational programs that focus on awareness of history and appreciation of global diversity. Live broadcast of our evening programs during the pandemic has brought us new friends and supporters. Those programs are now available on our website to watch any time. The artifacts we display have been refreshed and re-labeled, and we now offer visitors self-guided tours of our gallery.

The Museum’s mission

The mission is to “preserve, maintain, and enhance the collection of objects from pre-industrial societies and to serve as an educational facility for the community”. This it still does with programs for children and adults. Over the years some other items have been added including dinosaur fossils and a model pagoda for example. It is funded primarily through donations and bequests and does not receive State or Federal funds.

Our world is both smaller and more diverse than it was 130 years ago, and understanding of other cultures has never been more important. As we reach this important milestone in our history, we kindly ask for your continued support.

George E. Matteson: The Man and His Maps

Thursday, November 3 at 7:00 p.m.

Born in Scituate in 1902, George E. Matteson was a forest ranger for decades. But he is best remembered as an extraordinary map maker who embedded the folklore of rural Rhode Island into his precise and exquisitely detailed maps.   

Paul St. Amand, George Matteson’s grandson, is the keeper of his grandfather’s maps and map-making tools. Steven and Linda Kornatz, members of the Scituate Preservation Society, have used St. Amand’s collection to create a program about George Matteson and his map-making. The Kornatzes and St. Amand will be in our Museum Gallery on Thursday, November 3 at 7:00 p.m. to tell us about Matteson’s fascinating life and his maps. They will show us about two dozen original maps and many of Matteson’s surveying and mapmaking tools. 

The program, which is free and open to the public, will be live streamed on the Museum’s YouTube channel and will be recorded for later viewing.