Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston

4.4
#4 of 558 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
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
2,576 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • A very special museum worth visiting. The house modelled as Renaissance Venetian palace houses Isabella Stewart Gardner's art collection acquired over the years, including El Jaleo by John Singer Sarg...  more »
  • I found everything about this museum special - would highly recommend. A treasure trove of paintings, fabrics, furniture and artefacts in a beautiful, unique and special building - a gem - and lovely ...  more »
  • This museum is small and inviting. Be sure to check if there are art activities when you go. We participated in a print-making session with Sylvia, the artist in residence. We all enjoyed it - from a ...  more »
Google
  • This is a must see if in Boston. Such a beautiful & unique place. If you love gardens, fine art, and/or history, you will really enjoy this place. I had this recommended to me by a friend because I love flowers and gardens and I could not have enjoyed it more. The atrium in the middle of the museum is delightful! The gift shop is fun & the cafe had flavorful & delicious food!
  • I wanted to treat my nieces to a beautiful museum as I have been here several times and loved it myself. The upstairs rooms were fine. We had to wait in line about an hour though on the first floor galleries. I'm not at all thrilled with the staff and how they handle rooms. WE waited an hour to see the "Blue room" as we were waiting at the door another guard came in and asked why more people weren't in the room and the guard inside laughed and said she didn't feel safe. The other woman lets us in finally. I want to know what about myself and my two sixteen year old nieces was so threatening that she denied us entry?! My family is German and we spoke German while we were waiting and I found this to be racist. This is absolutely NOT how the museum should be run. This was a lasting memory that we will not cherish but cannot forget.
  • This place is such a beautiful intersection of travel, strong women, history, culture, plants, whimsy, intellect, and even HEIST. I don’t want to spoil the story but it is well worth the $15 entry fee. It’s in a gorgeous location as well. Please take your children and friends and family. Take photos and enjoy it like Isabella would have wanted.
  • I absolutely love coming to this museum. It is my "happy place". Every time I go there, I find something new to grab my attention, despite the fact that I've seen every piece of art there! To anyone who enjoys art, I highly recommend visiting this museum. Nevermind the fact that it has so much history inside of it, it is itself, part of history. If you're unaware of what I'm referring too, Google "Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum robbery" and you'll quickly be brought up to date. There are still sections where the missing paintings hung!
  • This is an amazing museum and definitely worth a trip. I love the lush inner courtyard in the winters and they always have beautiful new flowers blooming. The new wing offers a great cafe (expensive though) as well as an exhibition space that often has something quite interesting. The concerts are fun as well and Third Thursdays are a great evening outing.
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40 days in Massachusetts BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND December, popular sights PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 3 days in Boston BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 31 days in United States & Europe BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 11 days in Boston BY A USER FROM SAUDI ARABIA December, popular sights PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 6 days in Boston & Portland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 21 days in Boston, New York City & Philadelphia BY A USER FROM GERMANY April, culture, relaxing, romantic, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, culture, relaxing, romantic, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 21 days in United States BY A USER FROM GERMANY April, culture, romantic, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, culture, romantic ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Boston BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM April, fast-paced, popular sights PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Fast-paced 29 days in Boston BY A USER FROM PORTUGAL December, culture, museums, shopping, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, culture, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 37 days in Massachusetts BY A USER FROM ARGENTINA December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 16 days in Boston, Washington DC & New Orleans BY A USER FROM COLOMBIA April, culture, historic sites, museums, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, culture, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 20 days in Boston BY A USER FROM GERMANY May, kids, popular sights PREFERENCES: May, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium
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