A Visit to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

07 Jul

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that a few weekends ago, Drea & I had a fairly relaxing weekend hanging around Boston.  This was partly planned, and partly because she wasn’t feeling so hot on Saturday.  So, Saturday was spent lounging around her place.

On Sunday, we decided to hit up the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.  I had not visited there since my sophomore year of high school.  So, it was safe to say that I did not remember it, at all.  And, I failed to do any reading about what is actually in the museum or it’s own history.  The lack of research proved to be a bit of a mistake as it has a rich history of it’s own & that doesn’t even include the art theft of 1990.

Rembrandt Self Portrait

The entire museum is just beautifully done.  And, to think that one person (and her purveyor) collected as much as she did, and arranged it in this way for our viewing pleasure, is quite astonishing.  Besides the priceless art adorning the walls, there are sculptures everywhere.  There are ordinary objects like water jugs, (but from ancient civilizations), books, and chairs in the mix.  And, of course, there is her magnificent courtyard that the museum surrounds.

It wasn’t until I got to the “Dutch Room,” where several large frames remain empty did I remember the history of the theft.  It was also in this room, that I Rembrandt’s self portrait caught my eye.  I was really fixated on the way he painted the light & framed himself  on the canvas.   This feeling was further emphasized when we looked at the complimentary postcards we were given featuring various museum artworks.  In the mix of cards, was a Rembrandt – it was unmistakeable.  And, I knew I hadn’t seen it… and I knew that was improbable.  This painting would have caught my eye…  And, then I realized it… it was one of the ones that had been stolen.  It was “Storm on the Sea of Galilee.”  It was then that I felt deprived for not having been able to see that spectacular piece.

We did have a delightful visit to the museum & I am looking forward to going back.  They are doing a bunch of construction in there currently, and building a new visitors’ center that should all be complete sometime in 2012.  I may wait until then to go back.  Maybe, I’ll drag along some kidlets.

Afterwards, Drea & I were craving some chowder so headed over to the Barking Crab.  Yum!  Great day with the girl.

Later that week, I streamed the documentary “Stolen” which discussed the robbery and subsequent search of the pieces that had been stolen.  The art is priceless.  The art hasn’t turned up which seems amazing.  But, I guess if people can hide in plain sight (Whitey Bulger, Osama Bin Laden, etc), art can hide too.  It was a fascinating documentary, and I’m holding out hope that the art will turn up.  I would love to view it all.  Especially the piece that everyone (those that know art) raves about as being the most valuable of all which is “The Concert,” by Vermeer.

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Posted by on July 7, 2011 in Culture, Food, Movies


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