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.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Reviews
this museum is just a piece of art both outside & inside. We went at night to avoid crowds and it was great everyone of the staff we interacted with loved art just as much as us and one even showed us... more »
When I told a good friend that I was taking a solo trip to Boston, she said: "You have to go to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum." I trust her; so I put it on the itinerary. Because I was going on ... more »
Can't say enough about this fabulous museum! Kudos to Isabella for creating such a warm and lovely spot for all of her art treasures. You can easily use your mobile as an audio guide - definitely take advantage of it as you learn so much of the history of Mrs. Gardner and many works of art. Be prepared to spend hours enjoying all three floors. The conservatory in the middle is gorgeous!
I'd been visiting Boston for work for seven years on an almost quarterly basis. I was on my last trip as I was taking a new job and thought I should visit this museum/home because it was likely my last chance to do so. I LOVE this place! If you have an appreciation for art (paintings, sculptures, gardens, architecture, woodwork,etc.) then you must spend time at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. I wish I'd had gone across multiple days because one afternoon simply wasn't enough. Her collection of EVERYTHING was just perfection! Every crevasse, corner, open space, tiny room was detailed and thought out. Words cannot describe this place and I encourage you to visit. Make sure to learn about why this place exists and what happens there once per year. It's a wonderful story.
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