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Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
modeled after a 15th century Venetian palace

While in Boston, I also had the great pleasure of visiting the Isabella Stewart Gardner Musuem.

Isabella Gardner was born in New York in 1840.  In 1860 she married Bostonian, Jack Gardner. The couple moved to Boston where they had their only child, a son, who, sadly, died at the age of two. In their grief they began to travel extensively to Europe, the Middle East and Asia discovering foreign cultures and expanding their knowledge of art around the world.

With the help of art dealer Bernard Berenson, the Gardners built a world-class art collection. Her father’s sudden death left her an inheritance which she used to build the museum, a Renaissance- style palazzo, in Boston’s Fenway area. The building, opened to the public in 1903, surrounds a glass-covered garden courtyard.

The Courtyard

The Gothic Room

The eclectic gallery installations create a fascinating setting for museum visitors to view paintings, tapestries, sculptures, furniture, manuscripts, rare books and decorative arts by some of Europe’s most important artists such as Botticelli, Titian, Raphael and Velazquez, as well as by American artists such as John Singer Sargent.

Renzo Piano addition, 2012

In 1999 the  museum made the decision to build an addition to the historic palace in order to relieve pressure on the historic spaces. The new wing, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, opened in January 2012.

This is a fascinating museum; well worth a visit!

1 comment
  1. Pilar says: September 16, 2012 5:45 PM

    Makes me want to go visit. Thanks for posting, Cristina!

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