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Isabella Stewart Gardiner Museum Boston — Blue Heron Fine Art Blog

A Gem, Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardiner Museum

by Jim Puzinas on February 11, 2012

Recently I toured the newly renovated Isabella Stewart Gardiner Museum in Boston.  Long considered a real gem by Boston museum goers, this museum is located in the Fens, kitty corner to Boston’s larger Museum of Fine Arts .

Isabella Stewart Gardiner Museum, Boston, MA

Isabella Stewart Gardiner Museum, Boston, MA

The main museum, called the Palace, (no photo taking allowed) is an incredible place to tour. First opened to the public in 1903, the museum was created by its original owner, Isabella Stewart Gardiner, as a place to house and display her ever expanding collection of fine art and period objects from the Old World.  The Palace is accessed throught the updated new part of the museum, a contemporary glass structure that provides everything a modern museum experience requires, from coat check in to gift shop and dining facilities.

The Courtyard, Isabella Stewart Gardiner Museum, Boston, MA

The Courtyard, Isabella Stewart Gardiner Museum, Boston, MA

Once inside the15th-century Venetian sytle palace, you are transfromed into a magical mix of tropical gardens in the central courtyard, ringed by 3 open facing floors of period rooms, including the Tapestry Room, Gothic Room (where Sargent’s banned portrait of Isabella is displayed) and the famous Titian room, where Europa can be seen. All in all overwhelming for one visit, plan to spend several hours viewing not only the fine art, but all the period pieces.

Isabella Stewart Gardiner Portrait, 1888. John S. Sargent

Isabella Stewart Gardiner Portrait, 1888. John S. Sargent

Europa, Titian, (1560-1562)

Europa, Titian, (1560-1562)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although Isabella’s will stipulated that there be very little, if any, change made to the way she had arranged everything back in the early 1900’s, I feel an exception should have been made with the lighting, particularly in the first floor rooms. 1920’s dull incandescent lights don’t do justice to the works by Sargent, Kronberg, Bunker and other Boston artists of the period.  More should have been done and hopefully, will be done in the future, to remedy this.

For those who are considering a trip, it is a MUST SEE!

Isabella Stewart Gardiner, Venice, 1894. Anders Zorn (1860-1920)

Isabella Stewart Gardiner, Venice, 1894. Anders Zorn (1860-1920)

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