Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

We spent the morning in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, always a heady experience, now entered through the back by way of the lightweight extension recently added by Renzo Piano:-

It hasn’t changed the intensity of the combination of major works of art in a setting which is neither domestic, nor a museum – a combination of storehouse, garden, church and Venetian palazzo.   I don’t know anywhere better to experience the dream of Bostonian Europeanism – the purchase of works of art, advised by Bernard Berenson, from European collections, and the extreme appreciation of European culture in the circle of Sargent and Henry James:-


2 thoughts on “Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

  1. It is a remarkable Collection : like Kenneth Clark she was influenced by Berenson but her interests and passions went much further than his and included the Islamic World and the Far East.

    • But Berenson, too, was interested in Asian art, wasn’t he ? There used to be a photograph of Berenson as a beautiful young man right by the front door, which is no longer there. I used to think that it helped to explain the nature of the collection. I see that their letters have now been published. Charles

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