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Preplanned City Guides and Travel Itineraries

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

On this page you find practical information, photos and videos about Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum features in these preplanned City Guides:

5-day Boston City Guide

Why visit / Interesting facts:

  • Collection of over 2,500 works
  • Beautiful courtyard garden
  • Regular concert evenings

Time required: 105 minutes

Phone: +1-617-566-1401

Web site: http://www.gardnermuseum...

Opening hours:

Time period Opening hours
Tuesday - Sunday: 11am - 5pm
July 4, Thanksgiving, Dec 25: Closed

Admission:

Ticket type Charge
General: 12 $
Seniors: 10 $
College Students (with current I.D.): 5 $
Children under 18: Free

Public transport:

  • Subway Green Line: Museum of Fine Arts

Address: 280 The Fenway, Boston, MA - USA

Things you need to know:

  • The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (originally called "Fenway Court") is in the Fenway-Kenmore neighborhood of Boston, and right next to the Museum of Fine Arts and the Back Bay Fens
  • The museum was established in 1903 by Isabella Stewart Gardner, a wealthy patron of the arts in Boston. She began collecting art after she received a large inheritance from her father in 1891
  • The building itself is meant to be a copy of the Venetian Palazzo Barbaro (designed by Willard T. Sears), and was built to house the ever-growing art collection that Gardner amassed during her travels around the world
  • After the house was first built, Gardner invited artists, performers, and scholars from around the world to stay at Fenway Court, to gain inspiration from her collection
  • The Gardner has a collection of over 2,500 works - from European, Asian, and American art to tapestries, paintings, sculpture, rare books, jewelry, decorative arts, and even a garden courtyard
  • The museum is the site of the most expensive art heist (and property theft) in history, which took place on March 18, 1990. Two thieves stole thirteen works of art valued at over $500 million, and the museum still displays the paintings' empty frames in their original locations. The crime remains unsolved
  • The list of things stolen in 1990 include: The Concert, one of Johannes Vermeer's 35 known paintings; three works by Rembrandt, including his only seascape (The Storm on the Sea of Galilee); drawings by Edgar Degas; other works by Édouard Manet and Govaert Flinck; and two objects, a Chinese Ku (beaker), and a finial from a Napoleonic flag
  • It's a false rumor that the empty frames still hang in the museum because of strict instructions from Gardner's will - only nine frames of the thirteen paintings taken still hang
  • The art heist is the subject of 2005 documentary, Stolen. In it, Scotland Yard detective Dick Ellis and police informant Paul Hendry say they think an IRA faction has the paintings

What to do there:

  • Allow plenty of time to see all of Gardner's rooms, but to also notice the many details in each of them, from random letters to unique wallpaper - it's not just about the paintings
  • Take a break in the courtyard garden, which changes seasonally
  • Come for a concert (most Sundays from September through May) or for the third Thursday of the month, when the museum stays open late, and offers cocktails, music, and other special exhibitions

Tips & Insights:

  • Be sure to get an audio guide when you visit the museum - it will help point out the many details all over the museum, and the interesting history behind so many of them. This really is a must
  • The museum offers free admission for anyone named Isabella
  • Since January 1, 2009, the museum has also started offering free admission to the museum on his or her birthday

 

Fun Activities in Boston

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Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum features in these preplanned City Guides: