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Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston

4.4
#4 of 574 in Parks in Massachusetts
Garden · Art Museum
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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
3,207 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • This is a lovely museum in a gorgeous building. The house surrounds a beautiful courtyard and all of the galleries are around it. The art that Isabella collected is quite eclectic with many old... 
    This is a lovely museum in a gorgeous building. The house surrounds a beautiful courtyard and all of the galleries are around it. The art that Isabella collected is quite eclectic with many old...  more »
  • What a gem!! This is a most unusual museum. Beautiful relics and paintings through this incredible building. None of the pieces are marked. I would highly recommend using the audio tour on your phone....  more
    What a gem!! This is a most unusual museum. Beautiful relics and paintings through this incredible building. None of the pieces are marked. I would highly recommend using the audio tour on your phone....  more »
Google
  • I LOVED this museum. The (indoor) courtyard is just gorgeous. So many colorful flowers. Her whole collection is just so impressive. If you love Italian/renaissance art, then you’ll really enjoy yourself. It’s laid out well and have lots of resources to guide you through if you want them.
  • Love the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum! This stunning exhibition is a wonderful afternoon activity. The courtyard is full of plants and creates such a lovely atmosphere. The museum is fully accessible, with a cafe and gift shop if you need a break from all the art. Coat check is free and babies are also welcomed! Was surprised how busy it was when I attended (due to the need to reserve tickets and an entry time online), but it never felt overcrowded. If you bring your phone remember some headphones! QR codes through out link to an audio tour or written guides about all the art. Staff are also super helpful if you have questions or curiosities. Was a bit disappointed by the lack on info on the famous art theft that took place here. But if you’re curious about it, check out the Netflix doc “This Is a Robbery: The World's Biggest Art Heist”.

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