Dear Reader

Random musings on reading and books from a librarian in training.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

I was feeling a little stir crazy facing another grey/ rainy weekend, so my folks and I went to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The Gardner museum was thrust in a limelight in the early 1990s when thieves made off with several pieces of priceless artwork.

To this date the theft remains unsolved and the art work which included paintings by Rembrandt, Manet and Degas have still not been uncovered. According to Gardner’s will, the museum could not be altered. For this reason, empty frames hang where the stolen art work is. It’s a very strange feeling seeing an empty frame.

Fellow Mass residents who have never been I would recommend going to the Gardner. The highlight for me is the courtyard, which is just amazing. In addition to the mosaic center piece, there are dozens of plants and flowers, including gorgeous hydrangeas. Every room is like a treasure hunt, the wallpaper, the tops of the wall and even the ceilings have artwork.

There’s a documentary about the thefts (it’s on Netflix) called Stolen.

My father also recommended Mrs. Jack: A Biography of Isabella Stewart Gardner by Louise Hall Tharp.

Further reading: The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: A Companion Guide and History by Hilliard T. Goldfarb.

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