Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

I must be totally crazy. Why, you ask. Because I, Shayna, chose to leave beautiful, sunny California and head to Boston for my spring break. I know. Crazy. The warmest it got while I was there as around 45 degrees. I packed all my warmest clothes, layered them all together, and still froze. And my last day in Boston there was a snow storm that delayed my flight home by two hours. Weather aside, Boston was a fun city to explore, and I got to see some really cool things while I was there.

I was only in Boston for a few days so I really had to prioritize my time. I asked around, and everyone seemed to agree on one thing: make sure to see the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. I am so glad I followed that advice because it was the highlight of my time in Boston (besides, of course, seeing my best friend!) It is also a fairly afforable museum. It is $15 for adult admission, $5 if you're a student, and free on your birthday!


The entirety of the museum centers around this courtyard, with a beautiful tile mosaic of Medusa in the center. Very Versace. This mosaic came from a villa just north of Rome, where in 1892 this mosaic and two others dating back to 25 A.D. were discovered. The Met in NYC houses the other two mosaics, which I sadly missed during my visit there.


I could have spent an eternity in this courtyard. The fountain gives a very medatative ambiance, the fresias are so sweetly frangranced, and luckily, as it was raining the entire day, the courtyard is housed in a temperature-controlled glass dome so that one can truly enjoy it year-round.

That blurry figure in the back is the goddess Persephone, queen of the underworld and goddess of springtime, flowers, and vegetation. One of my favorite things about the courtyard is that all of the classical statues are of goddesses or female figures. The theme of female strength and empowerment runs throughout the museum.


Also, the flora is gorgeous. There are orchids of all colors, palm trees, fresias (oh, that perfume!), ferns, roses, and more. I personally adore green orchids. The atmosphere overall was very paradisiacal, which was very fitting considering the book I was carrying with me was Milton's Paradise Lost.

The photos above are only from the courtyard, but there is also an entire museum! The lighting in the museum itself is not too great, so I don't have many photos from that. However, the collection is fantastic. Isabella was good friends with the artist John Singer Sargent and comissioned several paintings from him. There are also quite a few Rembrandts, and even a Michelangelo. However, my favorite was a painting of Isabella herself, called "Isabella Stewart Gardner in Venice" by Anders Zorn. It is really quite stunning (despite the poor quality of this photo!).


I truly hope that if you find yourself in Boston you carve out a good chunk of time to check out this museum.

Until next time!