Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston

4.4
#4 of 428 in Parks in Massachusetts
Designed after a Venetian palace, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is home to the private art collection of its namesake. Gardner bought her first painting, Vermeer's "The Concert," at auction in Paris. The painting was stolen in a famous heist in 1990, when 13 renowned works of art were stolen. Not to worry, because almost 3,000 pieces representing periods from ancient Rome to 19th-century America still fill the gallery spaces. These include furniture, textiles, illuminated manuscripts, ceramics, and paintings from almost every era displyed just as Mrs. Gardner left them, with empty spots where the artwork was stolen. Don't miss Anders Zorn's painting of Mrs. Gardner in the galleries. Her collection blossomed quickly after her first Vermeer and she commissioned the building of the current space to give the public access. Mrs. Gardner's great love of Italy, and particularly Venice, inspired her to recreate a Venetian palace to house her favorite pieces, and in 1903 it opened to great fanfare. If your name happens to be Isabella, you get free admission. Put Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and other Boston attractions into our Boston trip itinerary planning website , and watch your holiday take shape.
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Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
2,443 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • If you’re looking for a museum experience that’s not like a lot of other ones this is for you. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum has done an amazing preserving and presenting this amazing collection...  more »
  • The Isabella Stewart Gardner museum is fabulous. From the cool reading room to the otherworldly atrium, you will be transported. The collection is fabulous as well. It is absolutely spending an aftern...  more »
  • I spent almost 5 hours in this museum. I had lunch in the cafe, which was fabulous and open to the public without paying museum fee. The museum itself has the eclectic feel of a well lived in home. It...  more »
Google
  • What an amazingly breathtaking experience!!! Absolutely gorgeous! Highly recommend coming to see what's new here in Boston. Words can't describe what a great time is to be had here, the variety is enormous. 5*'s Two thumbs up!!!
  • Beautiful museum where the building is its own work of art. Small'ish collection but ranges across a broad spectrum of styles, themes and mediums. The indoor courtyard is breathtaking and almost a good enough reason by itself to go. Be sure to ask about the stolen paintings and visit the rooms where the empty frames hang. They seem to hold events here regularly and the on site cafe is exceptional. I was expecting over priced, underwhelming food but they surprised me right off the bat with free popovers and a creative, local, rotating menu
  • Absolutely incredible! So many interesting and beautiful works of art from so many different mediums and countries around the world. Paintings, ancient artifacts, antiques, books, and so much more! This was museum was the private residence of Isabella Stewart Gardner, a collector of fine art from around the world. You will be absolutely amazed! This would be a great place for a date! I caution those with small children, however, because many of the items on display are not to be touched. If you enjoy art museums and are looking for a completely different experience than your "normal" art museum, then this is the place for you. This museum consists of four floors; the fourth floor is not accessible to the public as it was the private residence of Isabella. The rest of the museum is made up of many different rooms and each room has a different theme .Visiting the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is an experience you'll never forget!
  • Fantastic! Always wanted to come here! Italian Courtyard was stunning. Fresh greenery, beautiful statues. Perfect for a Sunday afternoon. Doors open at 11 am, come early to avoid the lines. Enjoyed the artwork and other objects. Blank frames mark the famous art heist from the 1990s. G Cafe was delicious. Quick and friendly service. Couldn't have asked for a better experience!
  • This is not an art museum, but an art-museum museum. Most exhibits are poorly designed and badly lit. Some pieces need restoration or cleaning, or it's just so damn dark in the room you can't tell if the piece needs maintenance or not. Many pieces are hung yards above eye level or in corners. Objects are crammed into cases, unlabeled. Incredibly overrated. The lesson here is to all art collectors: you might like art, but you likely know nothing about how people decades after you die will classify as a well designed museum.
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