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 at the forefront of your travel plans using our Boston family vacation planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
2,278 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • August 14, 2017
    Read a bit about Isabella before you show up and that will explain the format of the place. The building was for me more of the experience than the art. The court yard is amazing, though it was roped ...  more »
  • August 14, 2017
    My spouse and I visited the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (ISGM) on a Saturday morning in late May 2017. The museum is open Wednesdays through Mondays (closed on Tuesdays) from 11:00 am until 5:00 p...  more »
  • August 14, 2017
    Not your ordinary museum. Art placed in (my thought) random and often dark, unlighted areas. One loses the appreciation for the collection and the vast amount of art and artifacts. Maybe a bit overwhe...  more »
Google
  • July 9, 2017
    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.
  • June 11, 2017
    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.
  • June 16, 2017
    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.
  • July 9, 2017
    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.
  • June 29, 2017
    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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