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“Interesting, but hard to view” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
25 Evans Way, Boston, MA 02115
+1 617-566-1401
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Ranked #31 of 212 Attractions in Boston
Type: Art Museums, Gardens
Activities: Group tours/walking tour
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Attraction Details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: A Venetian palace in the middle of Boston, Gardner's home is now a museum displaying her impressive, eclectic collection of European, American and Asian art, including sculpture, paintings, furniture, ceramics and textiles. Visitors can stroll or rest in a spectacular skylit courtyard filled with plants and flowers.
New York, New York
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Interesting, but hard to view”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

The museum and story are really interesting, and I am not sorry I went, but it was very dark and the paintings and rooms were hard to see because of the terrible lighting. There is so much great work there, but the room guides make them hard to identify and after awhile you give up trying.

Visited June 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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850 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New Jersey
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Everything a museum/art liver could want!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

Do try and go on a sunny day, it makes it a bit brighter. The museum is an eclectic collection of art and objects, with something for everyone. Absolutely fascinating. Try to do a little research before going, but there are information guides in the various rooms. I understand the children's school programs are good and I previewed some of the kids guide handouts they have in various places detailing items/stories/what to look for things on a kid friendly level. It's not a place I would bring younger children as the security is tight and not a lot of open space in this historical building, but older kids will be fascinated by the items, the setting and the history of the place. Stop for coffee in the cafe early, but if you want lunch make sure to have a reservation.

Visited May 2013
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Melbourne
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Worth a diversion”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2013

One of the best things we did in Boston.

Private museums seem to specialise in 'quirky'. Here the architecture steals the show. The art, amazing as it is, is eclipsed by the beauty of the courtyard. I could have sat there all day and admired it. It's a pity that photography isn't allowed. While I understand the reasons for not allowing photos of art work, it did seem a little mean to apply it to this area as well.

I found the cards in each room quite difficult to follow and would have liked more interpretation of the art.

The restaurant looked lovely, so to the modern living room area opposite. Good gift shop.

The museum is easy to reach by public transport a well worth a detour from the usual suspects in the centre of Boston.

Visited June 2013
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laurel, md
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Beautiful, but not super family friendly”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2013

This is an amazing museum in an unusual setting - the art works exhibited in a mansion that is a work of art in itself. We didn't feel very welcome as a family, however. The staff greeted my group of 5 very experienced museum children (ages 6-12) with instructions as if we were a pack of wild hoodlums - multiple staff people made them repeat the rules (no touching, no running) before we entered. Then within the museum, I felt as if we were being watched and followed - trying to catch us in the act of touching something! My son was reprimanded for having a brochure in his hand because he might drop it on a piece of furniture and then someone might touch the furniture while taking it off. Definitely not a family friendly place - lovely art, lovely setting, not welcoming to children,.

Visited June 2013
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Fresno
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Amazing treasure in Boston”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2013

Facinating story about the life of Isabella Stewart Gardner as reflected in the collection of treasures she chose to put on display in her home/museum. Huge modern addition added to the older building. Wonderful reading room, lovely garden and oddly enough an amazingly beautiful ladie's restroom on the first floor of the original building...attention paid to detail everywhere. Pleasant restaurant for visitors to enjoy as well as a charming gift shop. Really not a place you want to take young children as there are lots of stairs and things not to touch.

Visited June 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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