Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

280 The Fenway, boston


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Opened in 1903 by collector Isabella Stewart Gardner, this intimate museum sits in a Venetian-style palace a short cab ride from Back Bay and Beacon Hill. Its small collection focuses on Italian Renaissance works, but also has especially rich offerings from John Singer Sargent (who painted Mrs. Gardner in White) and the first Matisse ever to enter an American museum, The Terrace, Saint-Tropez. Perhaps the most striking feature, however, is the lushly planted interior courtyard of a shadowy Spanish cloister, followed by the modern glass addition designed by Renzo Piano. Classical, jazz and contemporary-music concerts take place here and are a must for music and art lovers. An interesting bit of trivia—visitors named Isabella (it must be spelled exactly this way) are admitted free.

Written by Henley Vazquez

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