UNMISSABLE BOSTON: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is up there with some of the greatest museums I have ever been in, in my life. In ways that were completely unexpected, that museum
was beyond words exceptional.

You can get to the museum from the Museum of Fine Arts subway stop, and the address is here. If you visit the museum within two days of the MFA, you can access discounts, as well as if it’s your birthday or you are named Isabella. None applied to me, so my entrance was $15.

Who was Isabella Stewart Gardner? 

Gardner was a collector, philanthropist, and patron of the arts. She inherited quite clearly a shitton of money from her Dad, which enabled her to curate this incredible collection of art, furniture, fabrics and much more. 

What can I expect from the museum?

This museum is unlike anything I have ever experienced. If you enjoy art, interiors, decor, history and culture, you will love this museum. It is designed around a spectacular courtyard, with themed rooms circling around the green, landscaped centrepiece. The life of Isabella, her personality and passions seep through the museum. You can really feel this personal touch, it tells a story but encourages you to develop your own opinions and foster your own creativity as you go around. The placing of objects invites you to make your own connections and understanding. In short, the whole museum is a gallery.

What did you love about this museum?

Isabella was a lover of the renaissance era and Venetian art and furniture. She was an Italophile like me, who collected things rich in Italian history. Her collection also includes Arabic, Indian and Dutch pieces too, with an entire Dutch room and a Chinese Loggia.

My favourite rooms were the Veronese room with its beautiful mirror piece, the Titian room and its connections to the centrepiece Europa running through the entire room and the grand Gothic Room on the third floor.

On the second floor I was in love with the early Italian room and the adorable little salon. 

Finally, the courtyard is breathtaking.

The Isabella Stewart Gardner museum is unlike anywhere I have been and I cannot recommend it enough. I don’t think you will find a similar experience anywhere else.


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