Newport, Rhode Island, is one of the last bastions of American high society. The grand Gilded Age houses that top its oceanside cliffs and line storied Bellevue Avenue are largely untouched by contemporary renovation and taste, and family heirlooms are passed down from generation to generation with Yankee thrift. Indeed, Newport has an understated elegance that sets it apart from other resort towns. Life behind the facades of these elaborate mansions is rarely revealed, but now, photographer Nick Mele and author Ruthie Sommers, both lifelong Newport residents, share their entrée into the parties, lawn tennis matches, beach clambakes, and family gatherings that make up the glorious days of a Newport summer.
Picture the foggy mornings of June, the traditional yacht races of July, the annual meeting of old friends at Marble House in August, and the melancholy close of the season after Labor Day. Through Sommers’s personal, evocative text and Mele’s exquisite photographs of people, parties, beaches, and houses, the intimate charms of A Newport Summer come poignantly to life.