Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston

4.4
#4 of 305 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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  • I suppose this is a must see attraction in Boston. Isabella Stewart Gardner was a prolific collector of art, furniture and artifacts - including works done by artists she was close to including Whistl...  more »
  • I had been to Boston's major museum so wanted to go to this smaller and more unique one and what a wonderful surprise! Not only is the collection unique but to see it in such a phenomenal venue and to...  more »
  • This is a very interesting place to visit and the breadth of the collection means you never quite know what's coming in the next room. The building itself is amazing, with a mix of Roman, Byzantine an...  more »
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  • Our first time to visit since the expansion. This is an exquisite and intimate museum - there are so many treasures and surprises among the more famous pieces. It's a manageable size for an afternoon, and tickets are a good value at $15 per adult. We enjoyed lunch at the museum's restaurant - a special treat for us.
  • Beautiful museum. The experience of walking through a "made for art" house was actually as rewarding as the artwork itself. The grounds are immaculately maintained and the rooms are wonderfully curated to take advantage of the pieces they house. When you add the history of the patroness to the mix, it is a rich and memorable experience.
  • One of the most beautiful places in Boston. You'll witness the legacy of a woman who with utmost amount of detail decorated her mansion and left its doors open to public to see and enjoy. It also has a great collection of paintings and works of art.
  • Stunning museum with the most beautiful patio. A place of true peace and harmony. Would definitely recommend a visit and grab something to eat at the fabulous Cafe G.
  • Perfectly wonderful private home turned museum. The best stop hands down on my recent Boston trip. Be sure to visit and stay a while!

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