Curious places: a Venetian Palace in Boston

Venetian palace in Boston Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

A Venetian Place in Boston. Yeah, you would never believe it looking at this photo, wouldn’t you?

Venetian palace in Boston Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, inside

Instead it’s all true and above all authentic. We are at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. But let’s begin with things in order.

Venetian palace in Boston Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, portrait

Isabella Stewart Gardner

To tell you about this so particular place, first of all I have to tell you about the story of a very particular woman: Isabella.

Venetian palace in Boston Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

She was born in New York in 1840 and she moved to Boston following her marriage. A woman out of the ordinary.

Venetian palace in Boston Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

On one side taste for life and a fervid intellectual curiosity. On the other side an unrestrained love for journeys she writes about with enthusiasm, revealing a lot about her personality.

A #venetian palace in #Boston. Interesting tour at @gardnermuseum. #visitMA @visitMA… Click To Tweet

Venetian palace in Boston Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Who knows if can we define her an ancestor of the travel bloggers!

Venetian palace in Boston Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

The long jorneys of Isabella

Joking apart, during the long journeys all over the word, Europe, Asia, Middle East…she loved to write. So she gives us a cross-section of the places visited and of her feelings.

Venetian palace in Boston Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

An eccentric woman living an exuberant and funny life for that age, absolutely not keeping with the strict labels of Boston in that age.

Venetian palace in Boston Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum library

She fed the gossip due to her unconventional choices and her eccentricity. The local papers were bewitched by her but scandalized at the same time.

Venetian palace in Boston Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

She loved to say: “don’t ruin a good story saying the truth”. This alone allows us to understand a lot about her character.

Venetian palace in Boston Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Venice is her favourite destination

She travels a lot to Europe, she spends a lot of time in Paris but her favourite destination is Venice.

She has an extraordinary taste for the works of art that she starts to collect all over the world during her journeys.

Venetian palace in Boston Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

In Asia and in the Middle East she discovers the so unlike foreign cultures and here, too, she widens her art knowledge.

Venetian palace in Boston Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

She was a friend of the great artists of that age: she saw them regularly and had them as guests in her parlors where she mixed furniture, paintings and objects from different cultures, according her taste.

Venetian palace in Boston Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

She was an art collector, philanthropist and patron: she encouraged music, literature, dance, the creative thought…

Venetian palace in Boston Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Isabella’s  Museum

Her unrestrained love for Venice and the Italian culture inspired the plan of her museum: she personally planned and created it. A recent wing was realized by Renzo Piano.

#Venice is in #Boston @gardnermuseum. An unrestrained art collection. #visitMA @visitMA… Click To Tweet

Venetian palace in Boston Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

She considered art a need of her country due to the fact it was young and had an only recent history. So she created a vital place for Americans to have access to great art works.

I read the most beautiful description of Isabella and her museum in the book The Infiltrates by Nicola Palmarini, a book not dealing with art. I recommend you to read it and give it as a present to every girls and mother you know: it could mark a turning point to many girls’ future.

The most beautiful description of the @gardnermuseum in #Boston is that one by @nipalm ne… Click To Tweet

Venetian palace in Boston Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

It’s the museum’s description analyzed by a very particular point of view: the such unique museum is a woman’s “creation”. What she wanted, what she had in mind and pursued according to her taste.

A place never rearranged by a man, as it happens to any other museum. Just thanks to the far-seeing will Isabella left. So the museum remained as the essence of what a woman can create, according to her personal taste, without have to adjust and adapt to clichés risking then to make the works of art exhibitions all similar.

Venetian palace in Boston Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Said in that way it can seem reductive and the book has to be read entirely but going into this place (it’s better after have read the book) all appears immediately clearer.

Renzo Piano’s work – a man – is supporting that one of woman – Isabella: a thing that practically never happens and here it gives a unique taste.

Venetian palace in Boston Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

When she died she left more than a million dollars and precise instructions for her museum (among them the fact her collection will never have significantly altered).

Venetian palace in Boston Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

We are in front one of the most important private art collection of that age: it was put in setting personally cared by Isabella, according to her taste inside places and settings where she lived to stay on. Today they are at everyone’s reach in order to the others can fall in love with art.

Venetian palace in Boston Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Gardens and vegetable gardens were her passions and today they are vital inside the museum.

New ways to explore art

The museum is a Venetian palace in Boston which allows to admire the permanent collection through new ways to explore art, contextualized at Isabella’s age, in order they become inspiration for present and encourage new ways to think art.

New ways to explore art at @gardenermuseum in a Venetian Palace. #visitMA @visitMA @VisitUSAItaly Click To Tweet

Venetian palace in Boston Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

A charming Venetian Palace in Boston, in the downtown: its inside courtyard is an extraordinary work of art itself, where it’s nice to stay.

Venetian palace in Boston Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Every room overlooking it gives a new view.

Venetian palace in Boston Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Other settings with low ceilings and stone benches or the so particular cloisters, offer a variety of sculptures and dancing characters.

Venetian palace in Boston Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

A Venetian palace in Boston

The  water, the Venice urban architecture and the green are the featuring elements.

Venetian palace in Boston Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Inside there are even two paintings by Raffaello put one next to the other to bewitch visitors.

Venetian palace in Boston Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

A woman out of the ordinary

It seems to go back in time entering this Venetian palace in Boston. A museum allowing to rest in the fresh of the inside courtyard and admiring art according to the rules of a woman extraordinary ordinary in her being out of the ordinary, forerunner of time and a lover of good taste.

Venetian palace in Boston Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

In short, whether you love art or whether you want to discover more about Isabella’s life, this Venetian palace in Boston is absolutely to see.

Useful info

  • Free admittance to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum on your birthday.
  • Free admittance if your name is Isabella.
  • Free admittance for under 18.
  • You can have a complete virtual tour on the website, with explications in details for every room and setting: from the blue room, to the Spanish chapel, to the Chinese loggia.

Venetian palace in Boston Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

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