July 27, 2011

#58 Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

The second half of my Sunday was supposed to be a relaxing stroll through one of the nation's premier museums. Instead, it was ISG. Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE art, history and museums, but I was really, really disappointed here. Really. Disappointed. Like, this shouldn't be on the list disappointed.

See, I thought it would be a fantastic array of art collected by a somewhat eccentric heiress who had stipulated in her will that the galleries could never be rearranged. What is was, was dark, hot, and boring. Even the room guides (which I hate as a substitute for living docents or audio guides) couldn't make me care about anything.

The most intriguing aspect of the museum is that pesky clause in her will that states that the museum must be displayed as she intended (no work relocated, no new work introduced, no rotating display). In March of 1990 thieves gained access to the museum by posing as Boston police officers and stole 13 works of art. Several empty frames are displayed in the Dutch room to serve as placeholders for the missing artwork.

It sounds intriguing, right?

No pictures are allowed anywhere in the galley, so just a few shots of the exterior.