Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
11:00 - 17:00
11:00 - 17:00
11:00 - 21:00
11:00 - 17:00
11:00 - 17:00
11:00 - 17:00
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Nabolag: Longwood
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  • Museum of Fine Arts • 4 min gange
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Svært bra

Christine N
1 bidrag
nov. 2023 • Par
I wasn’t going to leave a public review, but after reading so many stories of people who’ve had similar experiences, I’ve decided to share mine…

TLDR: the guards are on a power trip and will very loudly and publicly reprimand you for simply existing.

I am a regular patron of this magnificent museum, and always make it a point to bring my out of town family and friends to view Isabella’s incredible collection. Over the last year, I have visited 5 times and brought 11 out of town visitors to this magical place. I’ve become such a regular that I considered becoming a member of the museum! Additionally, I usually spend nearly $100 in the gift shop on every visit. I just adore this museum.

However, my last visit completely ruined everything I’ve come to love about this place. This past Sunday (11/26/23), I took my mother who was visiting from St. Louis to the museum. We had 11 am entry tickets and at about 11:30 we were entering the Blue Room. It was rather warm in the museum that day so I took off my cardigan. The guard working the room requested that I tie it around my waist. This was not a long sleeve cardigan and could not be tied around my waist so I put it in the strap of my purse. I was very confused as to why this was an issue because I’ve never been told this before. He also requested that my mom do the same as she had also taken off her jacket. My mother reluctantly put hers back on. We then left the room to continue our walk through the museum. The guard followed me out of the room, pointed at me, and very loudly and sternly said “MA’AM YOUR JACKET!” I was appalled and so confused. I had no idea what I was doing wrong or why it was such a crime to take off my cardigan when I was warm. He offered no explanation as to why I was being openly and loudly reprimanded for what I thought was a very normal and very non offensive thing. I said to him, “seriously? This is absurd! I guess I’ll just coat check it.” To which he responded, “GOOD!” His disgusting attitude and treatment of a paying guest was absolutely atrocious. I spoke with the ticket taker to make sure I could reenter after going to coat check. She was very kind and explained to me that we are not allowed to carry clothing items. This was all that needed to be said. I was unaware of this rule of the museum but the power-hungry guard in the Blue Room did not bother to explain this to me nor my mother. Rather he chose to take this opportunity to openly and loudly make an example of my mother and I and flex his authority. We were clueless and had no idea what we were doing wrong. Needless to say, it completely ruined the experience. My mother insisted we leave but I wanted her to see the rest of the collection. We spent the rest of the time pointing out other people who also appeared to be breaking the rules that we so openly and loudly were reprimanded for. It was a terrible experience. I didn’t buy a single thing from the gift shop and will not be recommending this place to any other family or friends.

Numerous other reviews have stated similar experiences. They don’t allow strollers but you’re also not allowed to carry your child. The child must walk. They claim they’re wheelchair accessible but I’ve never once seen a wheelchair and it’s likely bc you will get reprimanded for not walking.

They had various art pieces stolen in the 90s which was most definitely an inside job. Yet they treat every person who walks through the museum as a conniving thief and treat you like a criminal. It’s a joke. The museum itself is beautiful, but the guards are terrible. Don’t spend your money here. Go to the MFA a few blocks away.
Skrevet 27. november 2023
Denne anmeldelsen er den subjektive meningen til et Tripadvisor-medlem og kommer ikke fra Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor sjekker anmeldelser.

Miami, FL747 bidrag
nov. 2023 • Par
A gem. The museum offers three stories of Christian icons; artist collections of Rembrandt and Italian painters. An amalgamation of years of collection by Ms. Gardner. The garden is the centerpiece of the multistory Venetian palace.
Skrevet 7. november 2023
Denne anmeldelsen er den subjektive meningen til et Tripadvisor-medlem og kommer ikke fra Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor sjekker anmeldelser.

Liverpool, UK9 bidrag
okt. 2023 • Familie
Well, we didn’t mind checking our backpack into the coat room and we had a nice (if pricey) lunch in the cafe. The museum was nice enough, dimly lit and surrounding a garden courtyard. The first issue was the member of staff in a room who approached my daughter and rather aggressively said that her teddy bear (who was clutched under her arm) would damage the paintings. Now she was not walking near the paintings and the teddy bear was held still. I thought he was joking but realised he wasn’t. So we walked away. Then in the next room a female member of staff told me that my (small) shoulder bag was ‘out of control’ and I had to control it. I was not sure what this meant so I took tight hold of the strap. This was not sufficient and she proceeded to demonstrate all the damage that I could do with my out of control bag. Fed up of this, my husband took the bag and cradled it in his arms. She was still not fully satisfied and let us know, while muttering. These experiences made us feel uncomfortable as if they’d wanted us to check the bag they should have asked. Each room, no matter how small has a member of staff who were frowning and unfriendly. Given the money we’d paid to get in plus the pricey lunch, it was an unpleasant visit and in sharp contrast to the Fine Arts Museum with its friendly staff. It was a shame as it was a beautiful house. I hate being made to feel so guilty with ridiculous accusations. Visit at your peril!
Skrevet 27. oktober 2023
Denne anmeldelsen er den subjektive meningen til et Tripadvisor-medlem og kommer ikke fra Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor sjekker anmeldelser.

Jim W.
Atlanta, GA1 102 bidrag
okt. 2023 • Par
We arrived in our rental car at around 1:15 p.m. on a Friday. There appeared to be street parking on a street in front of the museum (which circles a park / lawn area) but it was all full. We located parking in a garage nearby, across the the street from the Museum of Fine Arts. It was also mostly full; we ended up parking on the top (roof) level after looping up 5 or 6 levels. This turned out to cost $24 for less than 2 hours, btw.

We walked the 3 or 4 blocks back to the Isabella Gardner Museum and paid their $14 apiece entry fee. Note that you have to check any backpacks before entering. The museum is built as Isabella Gardner’s vision of an Italianate palazzo. There is a central courtyard with plants and a glassed roof (like a greenhouse). It is 4 stories high! Clustered at each end and to a lesser degree along one side are the galleries. The architecture is stunning.

My main dissatisfier here was the lighting. I am not sure if they are trying to stay true to the early 1900s experience when the place was first opened, or what. In the rooms where they were getting strong afternoon light (via the glass roof of the courtyard and large windowed balconies), it was fine. In rooms that were not getting any sunlight at the time of our visit, light levels ranged from marginal to dim. This was the most under-lit art museum that I've ever toured.

We also discovered that there was little to no explanatory material in each room. Instead, there were QR codes that you could access to begin an accompanying audio commentary for each room. We asked one of the ubiquitous guards, and they encouraged us to just use the audio tour via our phones, sans earbuds. If you have the volume turned down, you can listen without interfering with other people. Utilizing the audio guide made the museum experience MUCH better. However, I’ll add that the audio (about 4 – 7 minutes per room) is not exhaustive. There are a number of artworks in each room that are not covered, though it tends to highlight the main ones. Some of the side galleries especially merit a lot more attention if you want to take in everything.

One of the more publicized aspects of this museum is a theft of some major artworks (Rembrandt and Vermeer) from it back in 1990. There are documentaries floating around about just the heist itself. The museum opted to retain empty frames where these works would have been displayed. While I don’t disagree with that choice, it would have also been nice to see a small (at least a postcard-sized?) representation of what was missing, just as a reference.

We spent at least 2 hours here, but I think we got to see most of the main exhibits. We had hoped to get out of downtown Boston at least slightly ahead of rush hour, but we failed at that. Traffic in the area was horrible after 3:30 p.m. My advice would be to visit early in the day so that you could leave the area earlier, or to take public transit for your visit (which would also save you the $24 in parking fees).

They have a restaurant / café on the ground floor of the museum, but we did not eat there.

Overall, this is worth seeing, but the experience could easily be improved.
Skrevet 26. oktober 2023
Denne anmeldelsen er den subjektive meningen til et Tripadvisor-medlem og kommer ikke fra Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor sjekker anmeldelser.

Leslie O
Park City, UT87 bidrag
sep. 2023 • Familie
Our son is in Boston studying for his masters in Art. It was a incredible place to visit with many interesting and beautiful works to enjoy.
Skrevet 9. oktober 2023
Denne anmeldelsen er den subjektive meningen til et Tripadvisor-medlem og kommer ikke fra Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor sjekker anmeldelser.

Hopewell Junction, NY273 bidrag
okt. 2023 • Venner
Parking is easy nearby. Beautiful building, garden. An amazing collection of art. The cafe lunch was delicious and reasonable. Nice book shop. Close to T stop, Museum, Wentworth and Northeastern.
Skrevet 8. oktober 2023
Denne anmeldelsen er den subjektive meningen til et Tripadvisor-medlem og kommer ikke fra Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor sjekker anmeldelser.

Charlotte, NC600 bidrag
sep. 2023 • Par
My wife and I visited this museum on a Monday in late September 2023. We had just left the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and we walked the 5 minutes to the ISG Museum in a light rain. This place was Isabella Stewart Gardner's Italianate villa, and it has been converted since her death. Admission was $18/adult, with no senior discount.
The ground floor has the breathtaking 4-story central atrium with glass skylights and beautiful plants and sculptures. Wonderful. The other rooms on this floor are largely as they were in her day, except that most of the furniture has been pushed back to the walls to allow visitors to walk through. Number of people in the room at one time is controlled by a staffer with a velvet rope. Even with that, it was VERY crowded and one has to maneuver carefully to get around. The rooms are not well lighted and it is VERY difficult to see much of the artwork because of this. There are no placards to identify the artwork or the artists; one is expected to scan a QR code and then look these up on one's phone. This is yet still another annoyance for those of us with lesser eyesight. There is a wonderful large Singer Sargent on the first floor. The second, third, and fourth floors are a bit more spacious, and entry is not controlled. Much of the artwork displayed here consists of altarpieces and medieval art, although there are a number of fine oil paintings on one floor (2nd?). Of course, there are also the five empty frames that mourn the loss of 13 masterpieces in a famous robbery., This included a Vermeer, 3 Rembrandts, a Flinct, a Manet, 5 Degas, a French bronze and a Chinese urn. It was sad to know these famous artworks have been missing since 1990, 33 years without a clue to their whereabouts.
Isabella was a patron of the arts, and she apparently loved being surrounded by what she judged to be fine art. This helped support artists in her time and has left us this lovely museum. That is the good part. The less good part is the fact that many of the things in this museum clearly were appropriated from houses and churches in Europe during what is often called the robber baron period. Money can buy a lot, but it feels odd to find entire chapels (including stone coffin holder) in a private home setting. Same with encountering a full church altarpiece wall. While not pilfering, it is somehow not right. This leaves us ambivalent: Glad to be able to see these things, but sorry they are no longer in the locations where they originally resided.
Fun fact: If your first name is Isabella, you get in free anytime for your entire life.
We have now seen the ISG, and are unlikely to return to see it again. We were there for about an hour.
Skrevet 4. oktober 2023
Denne anmeldelsen er den subjektive meningen til et Tripadvisor-medlem og kommer ikke fra Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor sjekker anmeldelser.

Liverpool44 bidrag
sep. 2023 • Venner
An eclectic mix of history and art in an amazing building. Really well curated and staff very helpful. Also a bonus of a good cafe on site.
Skrevet 22. september 2023
Denne anmeldelsen er den subjektive meningen til et Tripadvisor-medlem og kommer ikke fra Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor sjekker anmeldelser.

Memphis, TN263 bidrag
sep. 2023 • Venner
I absolutely love this museum. However, the museum does not open until 11 am and tickets must be purchased on line. Although the tickets are timed, the museum was still rather crowded on the first floor when we were there. The museum had an online guide to the art since they do not label any of the art or artifacts. Although this may be the latest technology, it actually takes away from the experience, because one is constantly checking one's phone, getting used to both the layout of the museum and the online guide. I did not like that we had to take a picture in each room of the displayed code to get any information about the art online. Sometimes there was a line to get a picture of the code on the poster. I finally just quit using the online guide. Now for why I love the museum: the atrium area is lovely with plants and statues and the art is gorgeous. I highly recommend visiting this museum.
Skrevet 17. september 2023
Denne anmeldelsen er den subjektive meningen til et Tripadvisor-medlem og kommer ikke fra Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor sjekker anmeldelser.

Sylvia C
Philadelphia, PA46 bidrag
aug. 2023 • Familie
Beautiful building! The flora inside the atrium make it ideal for photos, and we saw many people taking pictures using the atrium space for a backdrop. I found the tool to navigate the collection troublesome. Each room did have a QR code available, but you needed to know which direction you were facing to easily navigate each room to identify the items in each room. I do understand the desire to keep things unmarked as the creator did, but I have been to other museums that have systems that are so much easier to use. (Having visited the Barnes in Philadelphia and their system where you use a point & shoot picture tool has spoiled me, I guess.) I found myself only bothering to find out details sparingly because the tool frustrated me. I think I would have enjoyed the museum more had I been able to find out more information easier.
Skrevet 5. september 2023
Denne anmeldelsen er den subjektive meningen til et Tripadvisor-medlem og kommer ikke fra Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor sjekker anmeldelser.

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