📢New blog post! 📢 Our Conservation Department takes a closer look at a Albrecht Dürer’s Man in a Fur Coat, found in the Dutch Room. Read it here→
Modeled after a Venetian palazzo, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston houses one of the world’s most remarkable art collections.
📢New blog post! 📢 Our Conservation Department takes a closer look at a Albrecht Dürer’s Man in a Fur Coat, found in the Dutch Room. Read it here→
The Macknight Room is home to a great number of watercolor paintings by its namesake: Dodge Macknight. He good-naturedly badgered Isabella into purchasing his paintings and he sent her a doctored postcard of the exterior of her Museum with the words “Buy Macknight’s Pictures” emblazoned across the circular wall around the Monk’s Garden. The trick worked, and she ended up buying nearly a dozen of his works! #TBT
Image: Dodge Macknight, Postcard 'Mrs. Jack Gardner's Venetian Palace, Boston', 31 December 1911. Chromolithograph; Ink on paper.
Unfold the fan to reveal your future! Decorated in golden stars and brilliant greens and reds, the fortune teller points to a book that reads "porvenir," Spanish for “future.” Isabella most likely purchased this fan during her travels through Spain in 1888!
Object: Spanish, Folding Fan: Fortune teller, Late 19th Century. Chromolithograph with lacquered wood ribs.
This #EarthDay, get back in touch with nature! What are you doing today to appreciate our beautiful Earth? 🌎
Image: Andreas Martin Anderson, Surge of the Sea, about 1900. Oil on canvas. #MuseumFromHome
“This can be grounding at a time when our experience of time is unmoored. For many of us the routines that structure our lives have been disrupted. It is a small solace, but there's a bright, ostentatious joy in that saturated orange flower.” — Erika Rumbley, Gardner Museum Director of Horticulture, on nasturtiums to WBUR 90.9 FM.
Read the article here→ https://wbur.fm/3asdHji
We are thrilled to unveil our new blog, Inside the Collection! Here, you’ll find in-depth looks at some of the untold stories about the Museum’s collection and history, straight from our curators and experts. Start reading today→ https://bit.ly/2KnKVpP
This #TransformationTuesday, we’re revisiting the cleaning of the two 19th-century marble lions that guard the original entrance to the Museum. Typical with outdoor sculptures, over time environmental conditions caused biological growth on both lions, resulting in a dark green appearance. After some testing, the lions received a much needed “grooming” (and a teeth brushing!) and were steam cleaned.
Flanking the doorway to the Raphael Room are two long, horizontal paintings by Pesellino, or “the “Little Pea,” who was one of the most talented painters in mid-15th-century Florence. He worked for the Medici family and Pope Nicholas V. Very few of his works survive today, but Isabella bought three, more than any other American collector. To the left of the doorway is Pesellino’s Triumphs of Love, Chastity, and Death, and to the right is his Triumphs of Fame, Time, and Eternity.
Although today was previously scheduled to be the Boston Marathon, we’re still celebrating the dedicated runners, organizers, and Bostonians who make the event so special every year. We’re looking forward to cheering on all the runners come September! #MarathonMonday
Object: Paul Manship, Diana, 1921. Bronze.
Anna Coleman Ladd was an acclaimed sculptor in the city of Boston in the 1910s. When World War I began, she pivoted and joined a corps of fellow artists to create prosthetic masks for soldiers disfigured in combat. You can find Ladd’s bronze sculpture in the Macknight Room.
Object: Anna Coleman Ladd, Maria de Acosta Sargent, 1915. Bronze. #MuseumFromHome
Many of the flowers in the Gardner’s collection have been in the collection for decades! Each year, the Horticulture team works hard to ensure plants like orchids, nasturtiums, and chrysanthemums can be used to spawn future growths. Some can even be traced back to Isabella’s lifetime!
Image: Wilfred August French, Prized Azaleas at Green Hill, 19th century. Albumen print on board.
Did you know Isabella sometimes used objects in the Courtyard as planters? This photograph was taken in the early 1930s, after her death, and shows lilies in the Farnese Sarcophagus. We’ve certainly come a long way!
Bonus: If you look carefully in the background of the photo, you can spot the flowering nasturtiums hanging from the third floor balcony. #TBT
Image: American, Boston, Farnese Sarcophagus in the West Cloister, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 1932. Hand colored gelatin silver print.
Today on Instagram, we’re revisiting Isabella’s brazen 1914 acquisition of John Singer Sargent’s masterpiece, El Jaleo. Don’t have an Instagram? Get the full story on our website → https://bit.ly/2R7aLlF #TBT
It’s #WorldArtDay! This work found in the Vatichino is part of Katsushika Hokusai’s series Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji. This series shows the iconic Japanese peak from a variety of viewpoints, including the famous The Great Wave of Kanagawa! This print shows men and women seated in a teahouse, looking out at Mount Fuji, which is neatly framed by a wide rectangular window.
Image: Katsushika Hokusai, Yoshida on the Tokaido (detail), about 1830-1832. Woodblock print on paper mounted to a second sheet of Japanese paper.
Today is #OneBostonDay. On this day every year, Boston reflects on the tragic events that occurred during the 2013 Boston Marathon, and acknowledge the strength and resilience of our city. Today, we’re thanking our incredible community for the dedication, bravery, and kindness you’ve demonstrated in our toughest moments.
Image: Jan Voerman, Nasturtiums, about 1894. Opaque watercolor on paper.
This luxurious container is an early 17th century wooden Casket, originally made in Gujarat, India. The box is decorated with hundreds of tiny pieces of mother-of-pearl, inlaid into a black resinous material. Over time, dirt and grime settled on the surfaces, dulling the mother-of-pearl. Conservators used tiny cotton swabs and an aqueous solution to clean each individual piece of mother-of-pearl to reveal its original brilliance. #TransformationTuesday
On this day in 1840, our fearless founder Isabella Stewart Gardner was born! 🎉 In a toast on her birthday in 1911, scholar and friend Denman Waldo Ross proclaimed: “we have seen your devotion to the arts of Dancing and Music, to the Drama and to Literature. As for the arts of Sculpture and Paintings you have illustrated them in a collection of masterpieces which is known all over the world.”
Image: Anders Zorn, Isabella Stewart Gardner in Venice, 1894, oil on canvas.
The Blue Room is a gallery brimming with objects that reflect Isabella’s personal relationships! In here, find display cases featuring personal correspondences between Isabella and the likes of Henry James, F. Marion Crawford, and A. Piatt Andrew, among others. The art hanging on the walls also often reflects artists she knew personally, like Anders Zorn and John Singer Sargent.
Here is a little Easter greeting from 1916 to brighten your Sunday! 🐣
Image: Unknown, Pittsburgh, Letter To Isabella Stewart Gardner From 1036 Beechwood Bld., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 22 April 1916. Ink On Paper.
Anybody else’s pet giving you this look lately? Happy #NationalPetDay!
Object: Emmanuel Fremiet, Figuring, 19th Century. Gilt wood.
On this day in 1860, Isabella and Jack Gardner married in New York! The two met through Jack’s sister and Isabella’s Paris schoolmate, Julia Gardner. The two shared a profound love of art and travel!
Images: American, Isabella Stewart Gardner, about 1860. Tintype. // John L. Gardner, Jr., about 1860. Tintype.
The Guardian has declared the exhibition catalogue for Boston's Apollo "required reading on race and US culture." Read the review here→ https://bit.ly/3e8H1hV
Under the Virgin and Child are five small arches with figures: from the left, a crowned female saint holding a cross, Saint Paul, Saint Dominic, an unidentified male saint, and a kneeling nun. This last figure is presented in a different scale and indicates she was the donor of the painting. This luminous gold work is displayed near a window in the Gothic Room, to take full advantage of the natural light!
Image: Simone Martini, Virgin and Child, About 1325. Tempera on panel.
This #TransformationTuesday, we’re revisiting a Conservation project done in preparation for our special exhibition, Bostons Apollo! This Cast of an Urn was created by John Singer Sargent as a model for the Rotunda he designed at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Sargent gave the cast to Gardner after 1918 and she kept it in her Vatichino gallery. Over the years, the porous plaster absorbed a lot of dirt and grime. Conservators used a laser cleaner to gently remove dirt without damaging the plaster surface.
This #NationalBeerDay, kick back with a cold one and this delicate etching by Anders Zorn. Did you notice the tiny beer bottle next to his signature? 🍻
Image: Anders Zorn, The Small Brewery, 1890. Etching.
We’re celebrating the start of spring with a nostalgic look at Hanging Nasturtium displays from the past few years, as shared by many of you!
Do you have a favorite Nasturtium memory? We want to hear it. Reply with your own story, or share your photos and tag us!
Today marks Renaissance master #Raphael’s 537th birthday and 500th anniversary of his death. This small panel was originally created as part of a larger altarpiece—other sections of the work are found in the collections of the The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and National Gallery. When Bernard Berenson brought this painting to Isabella’s attention in 1890, she immediately bought it! Two years prior, in 1898, Isabella had brought the first Raphael painting to the United States, and ultimately named one of her galleries after the much-admired Italian artist.
Image: Raphael, Lamentation Over the Dead Christ, about 1503-1505. Oil on poplar panel.
Isabella did not purchase complete, pre-designed rooms or attempt to assemble period rooms. The one exception is the Little Salon, when in 1897, she acquired interior paneling from the Palazzo Morosini in Venice. In typical Isabella fashion, her installation of the paneling in the Museum does not attempt to re-create a Venetian interior—instead the panels are mounted in unorthodox ways, even placed upside down, or were cut to form new pieces of furniture!
Raise your hand if you’ve played any card games in the past two weeks! This game of six cards features numerous symbols to be puzzled over in the manner of the wizard-like “Detector,” (pictured on the game’s cover). Isabella saved many books and other items from her childhood as well as those of her three nephews’. The cards’ appearance suggests heavy usage, perhaps by her three nephews, or perhaps by Isabella herself—a spirited competitor. #MuseumFromHome
Images: Edward Wallis, Sibylline Leaves, or Detector of the Thoughts: A New Puzzle, about 1819-1823. Printed ink on paper.
Lady in Gold? How about a Pug in Gold! 🎇 Thank you to Instagram account foxyroxiethepug for sharing this precious recreation of Thomas Wilmer Dewing’s painting found in the Yellow Room. #MuseumFromHome
Original work: https://bit.ly/2hxG9XI
Jean-Baptiste Isabey was a gifted French painter, sought after for his miniature portraits! He received one of his first commissions from Marie Antoinette, and was even patronized later by Napoleon and Joséphine Bonaparte. This portrait lives in the Little Salon and is just two inches by three inches in size!
Image: Jean-Baptiste Isabey, Miniature of Marie Antoinette, about 1786. Oil.
Of the 2700 books Isabella acquired for her museum, about 120 can be considered children's books. The Museum’s Library contains classics like Aesop’s Fables and The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, as well as Japanese fairy tales, all of which you can find in our digital collection!
Happy Birthday to American artist, William Morris Hunt, born on this day in Brattleboro, Vermont in 1824!
Image: William Morris Hunt, Landscape, The Village Church, 1863. Oil on canvas.
In preparation for our exhibition #BostonsApollo, Visiting Curator of Performing Arts Helga Davis went on a journey to find out who truly was Thomas McKeller. Here are some behind-the-scenes peeks into the production of her film, Finding Thomas McKeller. You can watch the full video here→ https://bit.ly/30bFLE5
Happy birthday to #JohnLaFarge, born on this day in 1835! 🎂 La Farge is perhaps best known for his innovations in stained glass design (including Boston’s own Trinity Church), but also garnered attention for his work in watercolor and mural works.
Image: John La Farge, The Recording Angel, 1890. Watercolor on paper.
#TriviaTuesday: This American artist was trained in France and was at the forefront of the American Impressionism movement. You can find some of his works on the first floor of the Museum, including the stunning work also seen here. Who is this artist?
The Gothic Room is a dramatic departure from the rest of the Gardner Museum, which Isabella styled lovingly after Italian palazzos. The gallery is an obvious nod to the many Gothic cathedrals she visited in England, which are extensively documented in her travel albums.
#DidYouKnow most of the work done by the Gardner Museum’s horticulture team is not actually done in the Museum itself? The team works in a 10,000-square-foot greenhouse space in Hingham, Massachusetts.
Even our resident canary is practicing #socialdistancing! Check out Whistler on Instagram at @whistler_isgm and follow along with his "work from home" antics.
Today is #WorldTheatreDay! Russian artist Léon Bakst was incredibly influential in both the worlds of stage-set and costume design. Bakst’s work often draws on folk art, Middle Eastern, and Asian motifs, and were a sensation across Europe. Isabella bought these two drawings by Bakst at a touring exhibition of his work, held at the Boston Art Club.
Images: Léon Bakst, Costume Design for Idea Rubenstein as Saint-Sebastien, 1911. // Léon Bakst, Anna Pavlova in the Ballet ‘Oriental Fantasy’, 1913. Pencil and watercolor on paper.
From Apollo: The International Art Magazine: 'Thomas McKeller was singular among Sargent’s pantheon of models’
Check out the latest review of #BostonsApollo→ https://bit.ly/3alYiSv
In 1898, Isabella tripped on her stairs at her Back Bay home, breaking her leg. She was confined to bed for several weeks. Her close friend, author Henry James, hoped that extra time spent with Titian's Europa could console her: "My imagination shoved rose leaves, as it were, under the spine of a lady for whom lying fractured was but an occasion the more to foregather with Titian. Seriously, I hope you weren't very bad—that it was nothing more that the 'Europa' could bandage with a piece of purple." #TBT
Image: Thomas E. Marr and Son, The Stairs at Isabella Stewart Gardner's Home, 152 Beacon Street, Boston, 1900.
Even though the #GardnerMuseum may be closed, we still want to continue to bring a little art education to your day! Is there something you’ve always been curious about? Or maybe you just want to see something again to brighten your day? Let us know what you want to see from us, and you may see it here!
Image: Attributed to Masaccio, A Young Man in a Scarlet Turban, about 1425-1427. Tempera on panel.
What do a CT scan, a 1400s guitar, and thousands of sequins have in common? Find out in this week's #TransformationTuesday feature! We are revisiting the Raphael Room restoration from 2016. Click through for a the side-by-side, before and after of the incredible work done by our Conservation team, then visit our website to learn more about the project → https://bit.ly/2Jdj5Mg
Happy #NationalPuppyDay! 🐶 Isabella was definitely a dog person and adored her fox terriers and border collies. Is your dog your new coworker? Share a photo of them in the comments!
25 Evans Way
Subway: take Green Line (E) to Museum of Fine Arts stop. Bus: take the 39 to Green Line (E) Museum of Fine Arts stop. Taxis: ask for address 25 Evans Way. Some GPS don't yet recognize this address. Look for the large glass building.
Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Send a message to Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: