For those looking for something to do while in Boston, then consider adding the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The museum boasts a collection of tapestries, sculptures, paintings, and decorative arts. It is a must for any art enthusiast and has plenty of examples of European, Asian, and American art. Visiting the museum is an indispensable part of any perfect weekend while in Boston.
Isabella Gardner was an interesting woman who had a life-long passion for art and traveling. She built the museum to showcase her extensive life-long collection. Museums are a great way to explore a city and learn about all sorts of things about history and the area. It can also be fun to visit some of the strangest museums in America.
Life Of Isabella Gardner - Boston's Avid Art Collector
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum was founded by Isabella Stewart Gardner. She was a remarkable character who led an unconventional life. She was born in NYC in 1840 in a wealthy family (her father made a fortune importing Irish linen and other investments).
She was privately educated in New York and married just before she turned 20. She then moved with her husband to Boston, settling in at 152 Beacon Street. Her son died at less than two years old, and to help with her depression; they traveled to Northern Europe and Russia. This was the first of many trips abroad that would include Egypt and the Middle East, Asia, Venice, and other places.
She loved traveling and loved intellectual life in Boston and Cambridge. She began collecting various rare books and manuscripts. In 1884 Isabella and her husband visited the Palazzo Barbaro in Venice, which became the gathering place for a group of American and English expatriates (they included painters and artists who inspired Isabella).
Her husband, Jack, suddenly died of a stroke in 1898. After that, she purchased a plot of land to build a museum to showcase the many masterpieces and works of art they had collected from around the world.
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum & Collection
The Isabella Stewart Garden Museum was completed in 1901, and she moved into the fourth floor's living quarters and then arranged her collection on the first three floors for the public. The building, Fenway Court, was modeled on the Renaissance palaces of Venice.
- Collection: Paintings, Sculptures, Tapestries, Furniture, Manuscripts, Rare Books, Decorative Arts
For the rest of her life, she continued to collect works and modify her installations. She arranged her art collections in a way that evokes intimate responses to the art. It was her intention that the art collection should be permanently exhibited "for the education and enjoyment of the public forever."
- Collection: Over 7,500 Works Of Art
- Books: 1,500 Rare Books
- Archival Objects: 7,000 Objects From Ancient Rome, Medieval Europe, Renaissance Itay, Asia, and More
Some artists found in her museum include Titian, Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Raphael, Botticelli, Manet, Degas, Whistler, and Sargent. Other little-known but extensive book collection includes early-print editions and manuscripts of Dante, illuminated manuscripts, and works by miniaturist Jean Bourdichon.
Top Collections In The Museum:
- The Rape of Europa: 1562 By Titian
- El Jaleo: By John Singer Sargent
- Portrait of Isabella Stewart Gardner: By John Singer
- Death And Assumption of The Virgin: By Fra Angelico
- Self-Portrait: By Rembrandt
Planning A Visit To The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Today people can see her very impressive collections at the museum. The museum also hosts exhibitions of contemporary art and performances. It also produces scholarly exhibitions, family programs, and lectures.
- Address: 25 Evans Way, Boston
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is open every day of the week (except Tuesdays) and is an attraction that should be on anyone's bucket list.
- Monday, Wednesday, and Friday: 11 am to 5 pm
- Thursday: 11 am to 9 pm
- Saturday and Sunday: 10 am to 5 pm
- Adult: $20.00
- Students: $13.00
- Children: Free (Under The Age of 18)
Ordinarily, the museum also offers tours through the museum, but at the time of writing (August 2022), all public talks are postponed until further notice. These are both group tours and private tours.
The group tours have an introductory talk about who Isabella Stewart Gardner was - they last around 20 minutes. The group tours are held on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.