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Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Updated: May 1, 2019

I have been to Boston many times, usually for a purpose other than sightseeing. So for my most recent trip I wanted to do something that I have never done before, and hopefully that something would be very out of the ordinary.

I looked up "weird things to do in Boston", and there really are a lot of weird things to do in Boston. Two things on the list peaked my interest-mostly because they were close to where I was staying. The Scarlet O'Hara House, a re-creation of the southern homestead painted on a concrete wall at the end of a ally just sounded downright funny, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum seemed a good way to spend a few hours on a beautiful day.

Not far from the Museum of Fine Art, and surrounded by the Northeastern University campus, the s out in a block of granite and concrete. Built between 1898 and 1909 the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum is a large Italian villa that stand1, The museum houses over 7500 paintings, 1500 rare books and 7000 archeological artefacts, all bought, collected and curated by Isabella over the course of her life.

The museum played host to special events of the day including concerts, readings and society happenings. Isabella also was a great patron of the arts, and John Singer Sargent was an artist in residence for quite some time. There are many Sargent's in the museum, including one of Isabella, herself.

In March 1990, two men dressed as police officers entered the building and walked out with 13 works of art by artists such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, Manet and Degas, and worth over 500 million dollars. Empty frames still grace the walls of the museum, where paintings of unimaginable beauty used to hang. The crime has never been solved and a 10 million dollar reward for information stands on offer still today.

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