We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Somber Afternooon”

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Book In Advance
More Info
$57.00*
and up
Go Boston Card
More Info
$72.00*
and up
Boston Explorer Pass
Ranked #12 of 402 things to do in Boston
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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.
Reviewed November 22, 2012

There were four of us together and it wasn't a long visit - about 2 1/2 hours. It was the second visit for some and first for others. Although it was a relatively bright day the museum was so dull and somber that it very much affected all of our impressions. The museum is certainly a tribute to Gardner but it strikes me as a place that would be best for aspiring artists (of any pursuit) as it is, in effect, frozen in time by her restriction on changes. The collection appears haphazard, without continuity or theme but the recorded guide messages do help to provide some limited context. For something that it intended as a memorial to Gardner there doesn't seem to be enough of anything to give or even leave an impression of why a particular object is included and only very limited relationship to her life and time or the origin of the piece. We likely wouldn't return unless there was a better and more complete attempt to provide background and context to the exhibits.

1  Thank bcfamily98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (2,401)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

1,757 - 1,761 of 2,401 reviews

Reviewed November 21, 2012

This is our second trip to the Gardner Museum. We were curious about the Renzo Piano addition. What this dramatic piece of architecture did for the museum was give it a larger reception area, provide a more suitable place for lectures, events, and provide an independent space for a collection of greenhouse plants. My only criticism as an architect is the addition's stark, modernist design seems to conflict with, rather than complement, the existing museum, whose classic architecture emulated palaces built in Venice. The renaissance paintings are worth the time you visit here. And we did take the architectural tour- it's included with the price of admission, and I learned a lot from it. Worth your 20 minutes.

Thank JCArchT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2012

We received a museum pass from our local library to visit. Parking is difficult; lots $28.00 for average museum visit. Very interesting-- get audio tour or read all the room cards; it will enrich the experience of visiting.

Cafe pannini sandwich was very nice.

Thank hr1313
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2012

When you walk into this museum you immediately have the sense yo'ure in a very amazing home! This museum was actually someone's house, and when Isabella Stewart Gardner LEFT her house to be used as a museum, she stipulated that everything had to be left as is. From the gorgeous indoor garden with sunlight streaming down, to the meeting rooms upstairs where she held parties and which display some of the world's greatest classic art, this is a museum that's worth checking out. It's just behind the Museum of Fine Art, and if you're visiting that one, there's no reason NOT to add the Gardner Museum to your day. You won't regret it!

Thank travelingmadness
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 15, 2012

Hard to believe the museum was built just to house Gardner art collection. The court yard is quite impressive with it's 4 story architecture and glass roof. The art collection itself was not my style, but still worth a look see.

Thank mary-jo V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing