It is a home and museum with gardens. I was not able to get that far to see due to time constraints, but it is said to be good. Collection of art is large. Venetian architecture prevails inside. Located in the BAck BAy area and times are Tuesday-Sunday with a cost of $12.
Isabella Stewart Gardner was a wealthy Boston heiress and socialite who was a passionate art collector. After her husband's death in 1898, she hired architects to design and build a new mansion to house her and her large art collection. The new mansion was completed in 1903 and served as Mrs. Gardner's home until her death in 1924. The mansion looks like an ordinary apartment building from the outside, but its interior is much more ornate. One of its highlights is a beautiful four-story atrium in the middle, which features gardens and sculpture.
After Mrs. Garner's death, her mansion and art collection were opened to the public as a museum. The first three floors are exactly as she left them (nothing can be moved under the terms of her will). The fourth floor, where she and her servants lived, is not open to the public. The collection of antique furniture and art in the mansion is world-class, and includes paintings by Rembrandt, Titian, Raphael, Botticelli, Rubens, Valezquez, Fra Angelico, Whistler, and Sargent. The collection's biggest focus is on Italian renassaince painters, but the museum also has a solid collection of Dutch old masters, as well as English, American and Asian artists. In addition to paintings and furniture, the museum also has solid collections of tapestries and porcelain, as well as an interesting collection of letters from famous people.
Unfortunatley, the Gardner museum was the victim of the largest art theft in recent history. In 1990, thieves dressed as policemen overpowered the museum's guards and stole 13 artworks, including pieces by Rembrandt, Degas, and Vermeer. The paintings have never been found, and the spots where they hung upon the walls of the museum now feature empty frames.
One block from the Museum of Fine Arts is the intimate Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The Gardner Museum was once the private collection of Mrs. Gardner, and is currently arranged in the exact way she left it when she died. This is an amazing "private" collection and is very palatable in a single visit, as opposed to the vast MFA. It features such masters as Botticelli, Titian and Rembrandt. Spring may be the best time to visit, as there is an open courtyard and flower gardens to enjoy.
Adult admission is $12, children under 18 are free (!) when accompanied by a parent or guardian.
People named 'Isabella' are always admitted free :)
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is one of the finest privately owned collections of art in the United States. The collection was accummulated by Isabella Stewart Gardner. The museum is house in a recreation of a Venetian palace and quite beautiful.
Isabella Stewart Gardner (1840 to 1924) was a highly respected patron of the arts who accummulated her collection as she traveled the world with her businessman husband. She also befriended many of the artist represented in her museum such as Whistler and Sargent. Isabella Stewart Gardner held a particular love for Venice, hence the Venetian architecture and strong representation of Venetian painters like Titian her museum. Other artist works include Rembrandt, Raphael, Botticelli and Picasso. Titian's "Europa" is often considered to be the finest work of this great painter in America.
The museum also has a strong collection of decorative arts from cultures across the globe. The building is especially noteworthy for its brilliant courtyard where you will want to linger after viewing the artworks.
Sadly the museum was the location of one of the most famous art thefts in history when theives entered the premises disguised as policeman and made off with a Vermeer, two Rembrandts and other minor works. They have yet to be recovered.
The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. It cost $11.00 for an adult to visit the gallery on weekends and $10.00 on weekdays.
The Gardner museum is a fabulous gem in a lovely building which is nearly as fascinating as the spectacular collection it houses. In her time, Isabella Stewart Gardner was a wealthy fixture of the Boston social scene, but she was anything but conventional. She and her husband traveled extensively, and accumulated substantial artistic holdings. After her husband died, however, her role as a patron of the arts reached its zenith, and she invested much of her wealth in recreating a Venetian palazzo in Boston. The building - the museum - was opened in 1903, and continues to wow visitors amazed by the workmanship on display.
The collection itself is small compared to the MFA, but still extensive, and what really impresses is the quality of the individual pieces: there's nothing ordinary on display here. It's also exhibited, per her orders, exactly as Mrs Gardner left the place in 1919, including gaps where several paintings were stolen in the early 1990s.
The collection itself ranges from ancient times to the nineteenth century, with several wonderful John Singer Sargent pictures among the most recent highlights (check out the picture of a Spanish dancer in one of the first rooms you visit; the illusion of movement is almost unnerving!). And whatever you're looking at, don't forget to glance around the rooms you're in, too; it's a little like walking through one of the masterpieces on display.
This is a gorgeous, small museum with a private collection by Isabella Stewart Gardner. Miss Gardner purchased the European style mansion at the turn of the century and decorated with her private collection for public viewing. She kept her apartment in the museum in the top floor. The museum has a pleasant European style garden. It has remained the way it was when Miss Gardner passed away. The art collection is not in any kind of order, but placed wherever Miss Gardner saw fitting. Unfortunately photography is not allowed here, a real shame.
Green Line on the T (Boston subway system). Five minutes walking from the T-stop. Behind Museum of Fine Art.
The comments I heard about this museum both from people living and having been to Boston were quite contrasting. Some people had found it fascinating, others were disappointed after having heard great comments about it and not having found what they expected (whatever that was)... I even was told not to waste my time there and visit other places instead. I decided I had to see & judge by myself.
I must say that I did like it, but didn't find it way too exciting or awesome either. What does need to be said is that it's a rather unusual and unique place. It is a museum, but it is located in what used to be Isabella Stewart Gardner's house and contains all of the personal objects, furniture and works of art that belonged to her. She was an American art collector and designed the museum herself, which was to remain untouched after her death (i.e. the disposition of the rooms & objects had to be respected).
This house is over 100 years old and it is certainly pretty, and some of the works of art are interesting as well... I particularly liked the garden, located on the first floor and almost in front of the main entrance. But I did not like the fact that taking pictures is forbidden - I know the paintings, tapestries and sculptures need to be respected in order to preserve them but you can't even take a picture of the garden - and the entrance fee is a little high (USD $10). For what you can see in here, it's a bit excessive. But I was glad I got to see this by myself and I don't think it was a waste of my time or money: if you appreciate art you will like this chance to observe this rare and heterogeneous collection.
An "interesting" thing I just learned about this museum is that some very valuable paintings were stolen from here some years ago....
One of my personal favourite museums in the world - this is a stunning place. A mock 3 storey 15th century Venetian Palazzo, the exhibits, the courtyard and the building all combine to a cohesive whole. It's overflowing with artefacts - paintings, sculptures, drawings, furniture, prints, manuscripts, letters, Japanese screens, books and so much more.
And it's all the private and personal collection of Isabella Stewart Gardner, amassed in a relatively short period from approximately the 1880s, with Fenway Court (as the museum was originally known) opening on January 1, 1903, to friends and February 23 to the general public.
Ancient Rome, Medieval Europe, Renaissance Italy, Asia, the Islamic world and 19th-century France and America are all stunningly represented, with artists such as Degas, Cellini, Ucello, Michelangelo, Boticelli and Manet on display. Stunning - and if you need a break, head for the courtyard and the open space.
if that's not enough, the Museum also arranges regular music events.
Opening times: 11am - 5pm (Tuesday-Sunday - last admission at 4.20pm)
Closed Independence Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day
Adults: US$10 (US$11 at weekends)
Children under 18 free when accompanied by an adult
(US$2 off adult and pensioner entry when combining visit with Museum of Fine Art within a 2 day period)
Isabella Stewart Gardner constructed this museum in the style of a 15th century Venetian Palace to store her collection of art and antiquities.The contents of the museum are placed as she had originally placed them. She had impeccable tastes in art and decoration. She included amongst her friends the painters, John Singer Sargent and James Whistler. Several of their paintings hang in the palacial museum.
Fifteen years ago the museum was robbed of 15 precious works when burglars disguised as police officers broke in. The art has yet to be returned. Reminders of the theft are still commemorated by empty frames hanging in the walls of several rooms.
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is one of my favorite museum anywhere!! This place is great. When you walk in you'll immediately be greeted by the spectacular Venetian-style courtyard pictured here. Actually, you're not supposed to take any pictures at all, so I had to be a little sneaky to get this shot. The collection here includes artist outside of Italy, but it is certainly heavy on Italian masters and the best part of it is the setting. You really feel like you have just stepped into one of the spectacular palaces along the Grand Canal. In addition to Italian art, you'll also find a lot of Asian influences and on the day I visited, there was even a live pianist playing in a performance room on the second floor.
Isabella Stewart Gardner was a wealthy Bostonian who in the late 1880s began to gain interest in the writing of Dante and in Italian art. She began to travel the world and amass an amazing collection of art and in 1903 she opened the museum to the public.
It's $10 for adults, $5 for students
Tuesday-Sunday 11 am-5 pm (gotta get in before 4:20 pm)
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