Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston
Categories: Art Museums, Gardens, Museums, Nature & Parks
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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This place reminds me a bit of the Barnes in Philadelphia. Chock full of art from floor to ceiling. If you go, be sure to ask about the 1990 robbery (or google it). The Renzo Piano exhibit is definite... read more »
This museum of art is so beautiful inside with its waterfalls and pillars. I love this museum and found it to be very romantic.
I knew very little about the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum before visiting it. I didn't want to see too many pictures, I only knew that it was built like a venetian palazzo with a beautiful courtyar... read more »
John P. Edwards
The Renzo Piano addition to Mrs. Gardner's home and wonderful art collection is pleasingly harmonious. The Venetian courtyard garden featuring a mosaic Medusa and statue of Persephone are among the many highlights.
First time visiting and it was incredible. The cafe inside of it was amazing and had perfect cocktails. Can't wait to go back. Very fancy items in the gift shop but steep prices! Would definitely invest in a membership for several more visits this year. Be sure to visit this one.
- Amazing old building with fantastic Italian-styled courtyard. - Interesting seemingly-haphazard placement of some good art. - Inexpensive ticket price. - Second floor closed until end of 2016 though!
A unique gem near the Museum of Fine Art. This is Isabella Gardner's private mansion, which she hand-built around her art collection. Each room is a different experience and the lush central atrium is worth a visit on its own. Note: MFA tickets give you a discounted admission to the Gardner, so if you're doing both, do MFA first.
If you become a member, you can pop in anytime to just enjoy the sunny garden in the middle. Especially appreciated in the dead of winter. The rest of the museum is nice too. Lots of interesting art, and kind of cool to be in someone's home and imagine living there.
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